6 Ways to Beat Bedtime Pain

When arthritis is your bed partner, you may need to change your sleep habits. Try these tips to help you slumber in comfort.

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If youre awakened most nights with severe arthritis pain and cant fall back to sleep, its tempting to blame your insomnia on your pain. But recent research suggests that, in fact, its a two-way street-not only does pain disrupt sleep, but the quality of your sleep can influence how much pain you feel, according to Judith Scheman, PhD, Program Director of the Cleveland Clinics Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program in the Neurological Center for Pain. "You blame the arthritis pain for disrupting sleep. But thats because when you wake during the night and try to fall asleep again, youre very aware of the pain-theres often not a whole lot of other things to focus on," Dr. Scheman says. However, a study of 971 men and women published in the June issue of the journal Pain showed that experiencing bad pain does not necessarily predict having a bad nights sleep; however, not getting a good nights sleep does make it likely that youll experience bad pain the next day. So although the two are related, sleep affects pain more than pain affects sleep. The authors suggest that finding ways to improve sleep could help relieve pain.
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