Pain could give anybody random sleepless nights, but people suffering from ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are all too aware of this occurrence also known as painsomnia, which is the inability to fall or stay asleep because of pain. Poor or lack of sleep will leave you feeling lethargic and worse, make pain from AS so much worse.
Plenty of studies have shown that sleep loss significantly contributes to increased inflammation. Fortunately, aside from medications, it’s possible for you to get a good night’s sleep and get the rest you need to keep your AS in check with these sleep hacks.
Just Keep Moving
Exercise, particularly stretching, is among the most useful tools for relieving pain from AS. It could likewise contribute to feeling tired and beat up come nighttime, so you can hopefully sleep more soundly.
Do note though that some people refrain from exercising at night since it interferes with sleep. If this is the case for you, consider working out in the morning, which could also help alleviate morning stiffness and pain. You just need to find the best exercise that works for you.
Check What You’re Sleeping On
If your mattress is too soft or hard, it could result in poor posture when you sleep and make your stiffness and pain worse. Consider a mattress that is semi-firm to help maintain your spine’s natural curvature as you sleep.
So when you visit your local mattress store in Salt Lake City, look for a mattress that will maintain the straightness of your spine when lying on your side and maintain your spine’s natural curve when lying on your back. If you do not have the budget for a new mattress, look for a mattress topper that can offer the support your back needs.
Make Sure That Your Room Isn’t Too Hot or Too Cold
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) states that the best temperature to promote restful sleep is around 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. The reasoning behind this is that your body temperature naturally drops as you sleep, so having the same drop in temperature in your room can help reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep.
Use Heat Therapy to Relieve Nighttime Aches
Heat can ease inflammatory aches and pains from AS, which are usually worse during nighttime. Consider taking a warm shower or bath before going to bed. You can also choose to apply a heated towel, water bottle or heating pad to your achy joints.
Go to Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is specifically geared towards helping insomniacs alter the negative behaviors and thoughts that might be interfering with sleep. According to studies, this treatment can even be more effective than sleeping meds in the long run.
Yes, sleep could be a challenge if you have ankylosing spondylitis, but there are some things you can do to help yourself sleep better. Consult your doctor and follow the suggestions above, and you will be sleeping like a newborn in no time.