Poor quality and short durations of sleep are factors that increases the mediators of inflammation (28). It has been found that each additional hour of sleep, over 7.6 hours, leads to a an up to 8% increase in anti-inflammatory markers, whilst each hour lost leads to an 8% increase in pro-inflammation markers (29). Likewise, disrupted sleep can cause a significant increase in the inflammation markers (30), so addressing sleep quality and duration is essential for improving arthritis.
The difficulty is, 54% of arthritis sufferers report poorer sleep due to the condition (37) and also find their arthritis symptoms, pain and mood worsen with poor sleep (31). This creates a vicious cycle of of pain and increases in inflammation.
Improving your general arthritis symptoms with the help of these other steps, should have a knock on effect of improving your quality of sleep and vice versa in this reciprocal relationship. Likewise, by taking part in exercise, reducing your stress and meditating, as in the discussions above, these are independently found to improve sleep quality (32, 33, 34). Stress meditating
Focusing on improving sleep specifically, there are many things that can help. Improving your sleep environment with supportive bedding, a blackened room, reducing noise and strategic pillow support placement, can help make you more comfortable and sleep deeper. Likewise developing an effective sleep hygiene routine by going to bed at the same time, developing a relaxing wind down process, avoiding devices with stimulating blue light for an hour before bed, avoiding caffeine from the afternoon and spending the evening in a darkened environment to stimulate your sleep hormone melatonin, are all found to help. Melatonin is also developed from sun exposure, so gaining your adequate vitamin D rays support sleep depth and duration. Finally heat treatment and using KYMIRA infrared, can also improve your sleep quality, please continue for these below.