The connection between people with OA and their ability to sleep is indisputable. The arthritis pain, common with the condition, can make getting a good night’s rest challenging for anyone. The symptoms related with osteoarthritis are definitely an important element behind many individual’s interrupted sleep, but researchers have found that the relationship among osteoarthritis and sleep is much more complex. Rather than OA causing insomnia, the two conditions are believed to coexist.
A 2012 study published in the journal SLEEP, evaluated the quality of sleep in people who reported symptoms of chronic pain, including those with osteoarthritis. The researchers found that the amount of pain individuals were in before going to bed had little to do with how well they slept through the night. Additionally, the study concluded that an individual’s sleep quality the night before predicted how much pain they would be in the next day. People who slept inadequately experienced more pain the following day, according to the research.
Researchers believe that a lack of sleep may actually produce inflammatory pathways which may aggravate arthritis pain. Michael V. Vitiello, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle stated, “Poor sleep can also make you more sensitive to the feeling of pain. It’s not that the disturbed sleep makes you achy per say, but the disturbed sleep changes your perception of pain.”
About half of people diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA) have difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. As a matter of fact, studies show that individuals with hip and knee osteoarthritis have a higher chance of experiencing insomnia as well as daytime fatigue than those without OA. Sleeping through the symptoms can be a challenge but research shows that following proper sleep hygiene can help. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.