Features September 2011 Issue

Arthritis May Not Be All That’s Keeping You Up at Night

Seek help to identify the source of your sleep disturbances and get the rest that you and your aching joints need.

Arthritis and sleep problems can be a vicious cycle. Your arthritic joints can prevent you from falling asleep, and your lack of sleep can worsen your arthritis. A study in the February 2011 issue of Arthritis Care and Research found that people with arthritis were significantly more likely than non-arthritic patients to report sleep problems. If you have arthritis and canít sleep, itís easy to blame it solely on your pain. But other factorsómany of which you can controlóalso can contribute to sleep disturbances. We know that a lot of pain conditions are not going to do well if you donít get enough sleep,Ē says Jessica Vensel-Rundo, MD, a sleep neurologist with Cleveland Clinicís Sleep Disorders Center. ďAbout 90 percent of patients with insomnia have some kind of coexisting condition, whether itís a pain-related issue or some other kind of medical problem. Itís important to address all of these issues.Ē

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