Getting a good night's sleep can be difficult for arthritis sufferers, as the joints become stiff during the night, leading to discomfort. However, there are a few things that you can do to change this and get the proper night's rest you deserve:
Stretch Before Bed
As an arthritis sufferer, stretching may seem like the last thing you want to do. However, restoring some motion to the joints is critical if you are to get a good night's sleep. This is because when you go to sleep, your body becomes stiff, causing your joints to become rigid. This is why you've likely woken up in the morning with painful knees or a stiff neck, which can have knock-on consequences to your daily routine.
Your stretching routine doesn't have to be excessive, ten-to-fifteen minutes will be enough. You don't need to stretch your entire body, although this can be beneficial if you have the time. If you don't, focus on the joints that give you the most trouble, bringing some movement to the area in order to free them up prior to going to bed.
Sleep in the Proper Position
If you suffer from osteoarthritis, the position in which you sleep can have a major effect on your comfort levels. Specifically, sleeping with your neck in an awkward position can cause inflammation in the cervical joints, causing you discomfort during the night and pain when you awaken.
The worst sleeping position for osteoarthritis sufferers is sleeping with your chest on the mattress. This position forces you to crank your neck to one side, locking it into a very unnatural position for the duration of your sleep. This also causes the muscles and ligaments to twist, which can cause muscular imbalances between each side of your neck.
As an athritis sufferer, it's best if you can sleep on your back. This is the most natural position for your spine to adopt, and your joints will be at minimum stress levels throughout the night. If you find this uncomfortable, sleeping on your side is also okay; however, make sure you don't adopt the fetal position, as this can cause the joints in your back to become stiff and uncomfortable.
Choose a Proper Mattress
Your mattress acts as your support structure throughout the night, so it's imperative that you choose one that offers ample support to your joints, while allowing you to get a good night's rest.
There is some debate over which mattress is best, and ultimately, this depends on the extent and type of arthritis you suffer from. If you suffer from osteoarthritis, a firm mattress may be best in order to keep your spine aligned during the night. However, if you suffer from arthritis in your knees, hips, or elbows, a memory foam mattress will likely give you the best chance at a good night's rest.
The reason for this is that memory foam mattresses adapt to the shape of your body, meaning that it never feels like you are sleeping on a rigid mattress. The foam molds around your body, ensuring that there is no excessive stress on any of your painful joints. As such, if you are struggling to sleep and feel like you need a chance, purchasing a memory foam mattress could very well be the solution you need to get a proper night's rest. Consider seeking out a local mattress store, such as Midwest Bedding Company, to discuss some of your concerns and find the best choice for you.