Sleeping for health - Arthritis Action

Sleeping for health

13 April 2018

Six tips on getting a better night’s sleep

Poor sleep is a common problem for many people living with arthritis. Joints can feel stiffer at night, and pain can wake you up or make it difficult to get to sleep in the first place. Here we have a few helpful steps to improve your quality of sleep, so you are less tired in the morning with more energy to manage your symptoms during the day.

  1. Create a routine – Try to get up in the morning and go to bed at the same time each day, even at weekends. Creating a sleep routine will help your body produce the chemicals that control sleep.
  2. Use your room only for sleeping – Try to avoid using your bedroom to watch television or work so that when you do go to bed, your body knows that it is time to sleep.
  3. Avoid blue light before bedtime – Electronic devices such as televisions, tablets and computers produce a certain type of light called “blue light”. Blue light interferes with a chemical called melatonin which helps us sleep, and it can also reduce a type of sleep called slow-wave, which is essential for us to feel rested!
  4. Get regular exercise – Exercise, especially aerobic, has been proven to improve the quality of sleep and just being more active during the day can also help improve sleep and fight fatigue.
  5. Avoid stimulants and alcohol – Coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, chocolate and some medicines contain caffeine and which can disturb sleep.
  6. Make your bedroom cool, dark and quiet – A slightly cooler room—around 17C, and wearing earplugs to have a quieter room, can help improve the quality of sleep.

For more ideas on how to improve your sleep, visit our Sleep Factsheet (opens pdf).