Lack of sleep = Trigger

Hi everyone, I've had many bad days in the last month with mostly my hands and knees. I'm looking forward to my follow up appointment with my rheumatologist this week and really hope he can finally give me a diagnosis. I've noticed this last few weeks how much sleep affects my day. If I don't get a goodnight sleep, my day is shot. My body does not recuperate from the days aches and pains and they just get worse. They days I get a good 8 hours, I feel pretty good. Do you guys see the link between how sleep affects your level of joint pain?

22 Replies

  • Definitely i had a really bad night the other night and yesterday was a waste of time. I even went back to bed yesterday. I have forgotten what eight hours sleep is like.xxxxx

  • Yes,definitely! My body clock is very chaotic . Sometimes I get the most refreshing sleep in the afternoon, when 'a little nap' extends into several hours.


  • oh... yes...

  • yep, Today I feel like a zombie. Over the last few days I've had more accidents than in 6 months, as I stumble into the day not knowing fully what I am doing. Trying to sleep but in too much pain.

  • Yes! Pre-RA I was happy with 5 hours sleep, now I need 8 or I'm useless.

  • Definitely, would love to go to bed, get to sleep quickly and wake up in the morning. Instead it's can't get to sleep, toss, turn, turn, toss and sleep about two hours if lucky. I feel for you, good luck on the sleep front

  • Can't remember the last time I had 8 hours sleep. I too toss and turn trying to get comfortable, fall asleep and then get woken up either in pain or needing the loo which is downstairs. X

  • Yes a few poor nights sleep is my biggest trigger to flare and so I work really hard on maintaining my sleep pattern.

    I try to have routines and ways to ensure that I sleep well, don't go to bed too early or too late. Read a few pages of my book. Try to get exercise everyday, it's whatever works for you. My husband knows if he's had a few beers to sleep in the spare room so he doesn't keep me awake with his snoring!!

    Maintaining my sleep pattern is one of the biggest things I can do to try and control my RA. Good luck with yours, there's lots of good stuff about sleep on the web.

    Rosie x

  • A full nights sleep...... seems a long time ago. Its a vicious cycle where pain and sleep are concerned. My OH did suggest speaking to the dr about sleeping tabs but never had any experience with them. Farm

  • Pain....debilitating chronic as in 24/7 pain that makes walking almost impossible. Pain....never take a good day for granted because we know it won't last forever. Pain....its become my norm. Ever since the traumas hit, and we all know as we age things start to creak a little more, low back hurts but come on!! And funny thing is it took almost 2 yrs to surface and then BAM! health problems, and mostly weird family history of anyone having. I'm dealing with some stuff but I am convinced everything else is trauma trying to work itself out of my body.

  • Yes I definitely agree with you. Sleep makes a huge difference to me. I had a great nights sleep last night and feel nearly normal this morning. Before bed I had a bath with Epson Salts, rubbed magnesium into my legs, took some chelated Magnesium and 5htp stretched my back on a Pilates roll and didn't eat after 7pm. I also practiced Mindfulness during the day. . Now I need to find the time to do all this every day! Ha if only!

  • I can understand how you're feeling. I had a long time without a good nights sleep & when I did eventually drop off I would wake in pain & be up & down stairs in frustration trying to drop off again. I was struggling a great deal during the days, concentration was shot & I even lost the ability to touch type & spell, something so automatic for me. Then things turned around, I was having cervicogenic headaches due to cervical spondylosis (OA in the neck) & in an attempt to ease these my GP started me on amitriptyline in an effort to relax the muscles causing the headaches. At the same time I was prescribed Butrans patches to deal with my other OA pain & both together have changed my bed from a mattress of pebbles to the comfortable place worthy of the money paid. From the word go on 10mg I started sleeping through though having bad dreams but the longer I was on it the less frequent they became. The ami was increased over time & now it's rare I have a bad night.

    Hopefully once you start on your regime of meds you'll start to have restful sleep, it may help having confirmation from your Rheumy. I believe the mind can be playful too when we're in limbo about something, for you it's probably diagnosis, it won't let us relax, going over & over the events of the day, the pain increasing the longer we stay in one position & not allowing us to drop off.

    I hope you have a good appointment, do keep us updated won't you.

  • I am on tham they help a lot plus the amitriptyline two or three hours before bad karen

  • That's good, pleased to hear it, good pain control can make such a difference.

  • Yes, agree 500%. For years I told myself I was lazy, a wuss who couldn't grin & bear it (sleep deprivation) like others could. But it's true, we need our sleep more than the average person.

  • Yes!! I try to get 10 hours actually, but if I give myself less than 8 I definitely pay for it the next day.

  • Definitely!!! And if I'm not able to sleep I stay in bed and listen to a relaxation track on my iPad so that I know at least I am resting in some way.


  • Definitely! Really knocks me out, especially when in pain, the whole body is sapped completely and everything seems too hurt.

  • Yes!!my rhry says take Nytol to me ( obviously check it's ok for you) and I do when I'm desperate and it does work xx

  • Hey A, looking at this post about Nytol and made me grin when I saw it was you. I swear by the stuff!! It always makes me chuckle when I get it from the chemist and they every time say, it's not for long term use ...and then I think of all the drugs I do take, Mtx, biologics, steroids etc ...and I think crumbs, I know I've been taking this for sometime, but who cares!!

    I did have a conversation with a pharmacist once about it and explained that if I don't sleep it triggers my RA and that the only side effect of long term use of Nytol was that it wouldn't work (not bad compared to Mtx!!) and she seemed to agree that it wasn't a bad idea. Glad someone else finds it helpful and hope you're keeping well.


  • I think a lot of people underestimate the knock-on effect that lack of sleep can have! You might find our sleep hygiene leaflet helpful for some tips:



  • Certainly do××

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