A Better Night’s Sleep (part one)

My friend Jane isn't sleeping so well. At first she thought it was just a phase, but now she's discovering that interrupted sleep is becoming her routine.

She's feeling it — and not just in her joints. Her mood is more snappish. She doesn't have the physical bounce back. Her fatigue gets her down.

Mostly, she doesn't have any emotional "oomph" to cope with the daily hassles of her life with arthritis.

Sleep is an essential ingredient in the arthritis survival kit. Studies have shown that quality sleep can help repair not only physical but emotional and mental stresses.

Nobody knows exactly how it works, but what they do know is that lack of sleep, or constant interrupted sleep depletes all your resources.

So, the answer is to get some sleep! Enjoy the prescription to lay down some comfy "zzzz's."

But it is easier to prescribe sleep than to get it — especially if you live with chronic pain. Pain wakes you up, worrying about pain can keep you from falling asleep, and if you are in too much pain to move around, you may not even feel like sleeping.

There are some ways to help yourself go to sleep, and stay asleep, and I am suggesting that you make it a mission and a priority to get more sleep. How much?

Well, Americans on the whole aren't sleeping — you can see those stories everywhere. We need 7 1/2 – 8 hours, and most of us get on average 5 – 6 hours.

If you live with pain, you may only average about four.

Moving up your sleep quotient can begin with something simple. Next time, I'll be sharing with you various strategies for achieving better sleep.

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