Lack of sleep is a common issue for many seniors with arthritis. Symptoms like stiffness and back pain can interfere with an elderly person’s sleeping cycle. However, the connection between sleep dilemmas and arthritis pain is a two-way street. Poor sleep quality can aggravate the fatigue, stress, and pain often related to arthritis. In addition, the majority of us become more sensitive to our surroundings as we age, including light, temperature, and sound, which can awaken us once we shut our eyes.
There’s good news, however: Combating sleep problems can help you reduce arthritis-induced pain and improve your quality of life. We’ve compiled 5 tips for adjusting your sleep position (and habit) so that you can better support your body and sleep comfortably at night.
- Learn How to Get Up & Into Your Bed Properly
It’s not a good idea to jerk yourself up when you’re lying flat. Instead, roll onto one of your sides, bend your knees and get up with the strength of your hands while swimming your feet over the bed’s side. Don’t lean forward at your waist, as this can place a strain on your lower back. Getting up this way ensures no single muscle/joint carry the brunt of your body weight, which should reduce symptoms of arthritis-related pain.
- Assess Your Existing Bed
It may be time to get a new bed for optimal support and convenience. Sleeping on flat mattresses can sometimes be more painful for seniors with arthritis than sleeping in a reclined position, such as that provided by adjustable bedding. Alternatives like The Perfect Sleep Chair sleeping lift chair also exist. The latter offers a multi-purpose solution: Not only can you achieve a completely reclined position for comfortable sleep, but you can even get help with muscle pain and stiffness courtesy of heating and massage therapy features. If you’re sharing your bed with a partner and battle with restless leg syndrome, insomnia, or other issues, a reclining lift chair can address the disturbance for both of you.
- Ease Muscle Tension
Carve out time in your daily routine for pain-management techniques that are known to ease muscle tension, such as an ice or heat pack, a hot back or a few minutes of slow, gradual breathing. Also, frequent calming rituals, like aromatherapy (we recommend lavender to aid deep sleep) or soft music, relax stiff muscles to break the cycle of tightness/tension and assist you in drifting off to sleep comfortably. Try allowing yourself to experience these activities to their fullest for a restorative night of healing and recovery.
- Reduce Pressure
Bulky bedding or heavy blankets can place extra pressure on already painful or swollen joints. That extra weight can ignite symptoms of arthritis and disrupt your sleep cycle. Therefore, keep the pressure off of your tendons, joints, and ligaments by using light blankets at night, or using a bed with posts that are capable of lifting covers off of your body.
- Try Conventional Measures
Despite attempting all of the sleep tips above, seniors with mild to extreme symptoms of arthritis may want to try other tactics that anyone with sleep problems can utilize to spend a more restful night asleep. Traditional tricks include not going to bed until you’re exhausted, using the bed only for sleep, and avoiding caffeine several hours before bed.
Hopefully, these 5 measures will help you reduce arthritis-induced pain so that you can get a good night’s sleep and wake up fresh the next day.
6. Using a copper infused compression for each part of your body that hurts. For example you can use a wrist support for your wrist to help with arthritis pain and remove some of the arthritis inflammation