can't sleep

looks like tonight will be another long night...i will usually be asleep by now as i have school tomorrow but i cant seem to get into a confortable position. after about 15mins my knee or ankle will start to hurt so i have to move it. this is one of the worst part when i get a bad nights sleep the next day i am so tired i can't focus properly in class and people don't understand just how tired i get.

do you ever find a day of being active or busy really takes it out of you and that when you get home you are simply exhausted! i do a lot.

if anyone has any good tips that help them sleep i'd be open for ideas!

17 Replies

  • Hello soph_holmes, It is now 6am and I have given up on a good night's sleep too. Like you, I just get comfortable enough in bed to go off to sleep and then my ankle will start to hurt where it is leaning on the bed. You are obviously quite young, and I am quite old at the age of 65, but we are both troubled by the same pains and anxieties about lack of sleep and getting through tomorrow. I try everything from making a nice hot drink and taking it back to bed to reading a chapter or two of my book. The television sometimes luls me into sleep, but if all else fails I just give in and get up. Perhaps someone else will come up with something we havn't thought of, but in the meantime there is some comfort in knowing that we are not alone. Good luck for tomorrow night !! June x

  • sorry to hear you have trouble sleeping, my husband says what works for him is to try to stay awake. Worth trying.

  • yes i sometimes just get up and do some work!

  • Hi soph i too keep waking up but to night i didnt wake up till 6 if my feet or ankle start i put a soft pillow under them it does work all the time . As for being busy one day it knocks me out the next day,i am tying to pace my self i know it will be hard for you beening at school when you get home try to rest hope that helps gentle hugs xx

  • i will give this a try!xx

  • Does not work all the time x

  • Hi Soph, I hope you got some sleep last night. My boys have exams starting today - their prelims for Standard Grades (Scottish GCSEs) and Highers and Advanced Highers (Scottish A'levels). We have managed to lose the key to the little courtesy car so they have to walk to school in snow and rain and wind this morning!

    Have you been prescribed Amitriptyline yet? I find this really helps me with the general ache of RA and contains sedative to help me sleep. My GP told me that at a very low dose it's almost homeopathic and I only take 10mg but you have to take it very early at about 9pm or you may feel horribly tired the next day. Also you should talk to your rheumy about pain at night because they might prescribe you anti-inflammatories.

    Tilda xx

  • hello, my exams start in may so doing as much revision as i can!

    i haven't be perscribed that yet, i will talk to my GP about it.

    thanks Tilda xx

  • You poor thing, It must be really hard for you, I'm 50 this year and have been on the sick since July, I find this disease hard as it is, to be so young it must be awful, Really hope that things sort themselves out soon, If not see your GP she might be able to help, Having to go to school and learn for your future must be really depressing, Maybe take someone with you that understands how you are feeling on your next GP appointment , Take care Xx

  • thank you will defiantly be talking to my GP about this xx

  • I was a teacher in a secondary school, and had to give up because of the fatigue caused by RA, even when I was sleeping well. Schools are such busy places, with that constant drive to be in a certain place at a given time - no possibility of pacing yourself at all.

    Definitely talk to your GP and rheumatologist about whether they can do anything else to help with sleeping/fatigue; also make sure the school are aware of the problems. They will have seen the word "arthritis", will think "joint pain" but won't know about/remember the other difficulties you have. Have a good look at your timetable, and the school day, and see if you can come up with any ideas about how it could be made easier for you. You are covered by the Equality Act, which applies to education as well as employment, so the school is obliged to consider "reasonable adjustments" for you to help you succeed. But they won't know what adjustments could help you unless you talk to them about it.

    Good luck

    Dotty xxx

  • thank you i will have to mention it next time i see my GP, my school are aware but most of the time they forget, i didn't know about the Equality Act i will look into

  • Hi,

    if you find that the weight of a heavy duvet is uncomfortable on your legs and feet you could try switching to a lightweight one. I've also found my feet feel better if I prop the duvet up off my feet by putting a couple of pillows at the bottom of the bed. Hope you get a better night tonight.


  • Hi, I know how you feel - sometimes I'm trying so hard to relax and get comfortable that I end up keeping myself awake! I've downloaded a few sleep and relaxation apps on my phone. They don't always work and I sometimes have to listen to more than one but it can make me stop trying too hard to get to sleep so I've got a chance to nod off. If your school has a head of pastoral care it might be worth speaking to them to get help in managing your studies when you're below par x

  • Hi, I'm back having had a very good night's sleep last night. I used a soft cushion under my calf which lifted my foot off the surface of the bed and I took amitriptyline 10mg at 9pm last night as suggested by Tilda and hey-ho it worked. So, soph_holmes I hope you are doing better with your sleeping too. Thanks a bunch for tips. xx

  • Hi soph_holmes and all

    Unfortunately difficulty sleeping does seem to be a common problem for those with RA. We have recently produced a leaflet on sleep hygiene which might give you a few more useful tips:

    But as the others have mentioned, its also worth discussing this with the GP to see if they have an advice.

    Kind regards

    Sarah Kate


  • so sorry for those fellow sufferers who still have to study/ work. At least being retired I can create my own timetable. Making others aware of the effects of this disease is a real problem. In my experience, the term 'arthritis' is a problem in itself as people tend to switch off listening and associate what I'm trying to explain with growing older.

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