The truth is, everyone suffering from psoriatic arthritis knows how challenging getting a good night’s sleep is. If you’re living with this condition you are probably experiencing numerous sleep issues from trouble falling asleep, poor-quality sleep, to feeling sleepy constantly.
But, that’s not all! The more your psoriatic arthritis symptoms progress and become severe, the insomnia gets worse. Plus, as a result of spending many sleepless nights, you may also suffer from anxiety and your pain may increase.
Fortunately, there are several lifestyle changes and treatments you can try that can positively affect your sleep and relieve your symptoms.
How to Improve Sleep and Manage Psoriatic Arthritis Pain
Have a Healthy Bedtime Routine
First and foremost, when experiencing sleep issues and suffering from insomnia, you must seriously consider making some changes regarding your room and routine.
For instance, following a strict sleep schedule can really go a long way toward fighting insomnia. Hence, determine the time you will go to bed and wake up and stick to it every day. Also, ensure your bedroom is cool and quiet or perhaps try using a white noise machine.
Furthermore, the light from your gadgets sends signals to your body and brain that it is still day and time to be awake. Therefore, make sure you avoid screen time before going to bed for at least half an hour. Instead, try reading a book, meditating, or taking a warm bath.
Try Medical Treatments for Insomnia
Unfortunately, insomnia isn’t really a rare condition and people all around the world are suffering from sleep issues. And, in case adjusting your sleep environment and routine isn’t enough, you may ask your doctor to recommend either a treatment or medications.
When speaking of treatments, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has proven to be remarkably helpful against insomnia. It is a program that focuses on helping you change the way you respond to difficult situations and improve sleep.
On the other hand, you can also consider medications, i.e. sleeping pills. However, different prescription pills have different risks and benefits. Just make sure you talk to your doctor and ask about the side effects before using them.
Consider Pain-Relieving Treatments
Since your sleeping issues are a result of your psoriatic arthritis pain, you may try to deal with it first. Various pain-relieving treatments can reduce the pain by controlling the inflammation and swelling that cause joint pain, stiffness, and tenderness. Some treatments against psoriatic arthritis pain include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, are only helpful in case of mild inflammation.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), including methotrexate, leflunomide, and sulfasalazine, can help you slow down the progression of symptoms and prevent permanent joint damage.
- Targeted synthetic DMARDs, apremilast for example, are extremely effective in blocking the phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) enzyme action in inflammatory cells and thus reduce inflammation.
- Biological DMARDs like tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors including etanercept, infliximab, golimumab, adalimumab, and certolizumab, help relieve pain by affecting the signals between the immune system cells.
Make some Lifestyle Changes
Last but definitely not least, you can also try to make some lifestyle changes to reduce your psoriatic arthritis pain and thus combat insomnia. We all know how our lifestyle choices can have either a positive or negative effect on our health. Therefore, try making the following changes that can help you relieve pain and improve your overall health:
- Get rid of extra weight to reduce the pressure on your joints and ease the strain. You can do so by following a healthy diet full of whole grains, lean proteins, and lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Try exercising in case it isn’t too painful. Otherwise, you can try physical or occupational therapy. Regular exercise won’t only help you shed excess weight but also improve the function of your joints.
To conclude, the link between sleep and psoriatic arthritis is very strong. However, by following a bedtime routine, making some lifestyle changes, and trying medical treatments for both insomnia and psoriatic arthritis pain, you can finally have a good and painless night’s sleep.