Good Night’s Sleep for People with Arthritis

Good Night’s Sleep for People with Arthritis

Author

Chloe Burnett

11 Min

The best mattress for rheumatoid arthritis in the UK is a common query for customers. Opera Beds adjustable electric beds could be just the thing to help you deal with your condition.

Over 80% of people with arthritis struggle to sleep due to pain in the joints and inflammation, which can lead to restless nights.

In many cases, arthritis symptoms include:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Restricted movement and other mobility issues
  • Inflammation in and around the joints.

These symptoms can stop you from getting decent sleep quality and make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. In this guide, we'll go through the different types of arthritis and the ways you can manage the condition to improve sleep.

At Opera, our electric adjustable beds are a perfect solution to help those with arthritis. They have a profiling mattress platform that provides a range of comfortable positions. Regular beds do not offer the same level of support and comfort when compared to using an adjustable mattress or bed.

If you’d like us to find the best solution for your needs, get started with a free consultation call with a member of the Opera team.

Who does Arthritis affect?

Whilst it's often considered to be a disease of the elderly, arthritis affects men and women of all ages. Arthritis typically starts between the ages of 40 and 60, although this isn't always the case.

The main risk factors for arthritis are:

  • Aging
  • A family history of the disease
  • Your sex, as women are more likely to develop arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Previous joint injuries

Some forms of arthritis are more common in the elderly and adults aged over 40, but around 15,000 children and young people are affected by arthritis in the UK alone. Arthritis is more commonly found in women but it is still prevalent in men. A family history of arthritis can also increase your chances of developing the disease.

Elderly People with Arthritis

The different types of Arthritis

The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, although there are several other types that can affect you.

The most common type of arthritis in children and young people is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). JIA used to be known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), but the name was changed as JIA is a different form of the disease.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis affects nearly 9 million people in the UK. In most cases, it starts to develop around the age of 40 - although all ages can be affected as a result of injury or other types of arthritis. Again, women tend to be more susceptible to this type of arthritis than men. Those who have a family history of osteoarthritis are also likely to develop this condition.

Osteoarthritis is most commonly found in the hands, knees, spine and hips, starting when the cartilage in these areas becomes rough. Once the cartilage starts to thin out, the tendons and ligaments have to work harder and extra fluid is sent to the joint.

The symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Growth of osteophytes (small bone shards) on the bones in your joints, which causes pain
  • Stretched and misshapen joint capsules, leading to stiffness
  • Joint stiffness and chronic pain, which impacts overall well-being and your ability to get around

    Rheumatoid Arthritis

    As the second most common type of arthritis in the UK, rheumatoid arthritis affects about 400,000 people every year. which might explain why queries for the best mattress for rheumatoid arthritis UK crop up so often. 

    People usually begin to develop the condition between the ages of 40 and 50. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, meaning that the body’s immune system attacks itself because it thinks there is a threat. This causes chronic pain and inflammation. The immune system sends blood and extra fluids to the joints, thinking it is fighting a non-existent infection. The excess blood and fluids are likely to cause other symptoms such as:

    • Periods of stiff and tender joint inflammation that can last for over half an hour
    • Joint and bone damage caused by the chemicals in the fluids
    • Joint capsules become stretched due to excess fluids. Once stretched, a capsule almost never returns to its normal size
    • Irritated nerve endings, which increase the pain further
    • Severe fatigue and complex mobility issues, due to the pain

      Arthritic Joint Pain

      Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

      Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) affects children and younger people. About 15,000 young people are affected with a form of arthritis, of which JIA is the most common.

      In most cases, JIA diminishes over time and usually ceases entirely before adulthood. For smaller children with JIA, the disease can sometimes flare up again in their teenage years. All types of JIA include swelling, pain and reddened joints.

      More severe cases of JIA can include:

      • Swelling of the heart, liver, and spleen
      • Swollen fingers, toes, wrists, ankles and neck, as well as the jaw area
      • Permanent joint damage
      • Fatigue and limited mobility

      Other forms of arthritis include gout, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and spondyloarthritis. 

      How poor quality sleep affects Arthritis

      If you (or someone you care for) have arthritis, not getting enough sleep can make the condition worse due to increased pain and stiffness.

      Not getting quality sleep can make arthritis-related pain worse, which in turn leads to poorer quality of sleep. This creates a diminished sleep cycle - on top of the pain caused by arthritis, this can cause further problems that affect a person’s well-being and quality of life.

      These problems include:

      • Worsening inflammation: Inadequate sleep can contribute to increased inflammation in the body, which can exacerbate arthritis symptoms. Inflammation is a key driver of arthritis pain, so it’s important that you or your loved one remain comfortable for a good night’s sleep.
      • A reduction in mobility: Arthritis may already limit someone's mobility, and poor sleep can make it even more challenging. When we don’t get enough sleep, it can leave us feeling fatigued, groggy and unsteady on our feet, making it more difficult to move around and do basic tasks.
      • A negative impact on your mental health: Chronic pain and poor sleep can impact a person’s health. Someone with arthritis who experiences poor quality of sleep may feel irritable, anxious or depressed, which can further impact their quality of life and general sense of well being.

      In order to increase maximum comfort, you should consider buying a new bed - particularly one that is designed to help you with your health conditions. If you'd like to get more peace of mind over your sleeping situation and find out what options are available to you, contact Opera's helpful team today.

      Ways to improve your sleep if you have Arthritis

      As previously mentioned, living with arthritis can make life challenging due to the discomfort and pain the disease causes.

      However, in this guide we’ve listed some of the ways to achieve better sleep for those with the condition.

      One of the biggest impacts that arthritis has on day-to-day life is the ability to move around easily. Joint stiffness and pain can make everyday tasks that little bit harder, and as the condition develops, it can severely restrict mobility.

      Our range of electric adjustable beds is designed to make life easier and alleviate arthritis symptoms. You can view information about our electric beds online on our website, but if you need more advice, our team will be happy to help.

      Sleeping in a comfortable position relieves joint pain

      Arthritis causes the joints to become inflamed, leading to further pain and discomfort. If you or your loved one suffer from arthritis, your current bed could be making it worse.

      Normal beds limit the number of sleeping positions by having a static base. Adjustable beds are electrically adjustable, including an elevating back and leg rest and movable bed bases. Electrically repositioning the bed helps to relieve joint pain and discomfort when you sleep.

      Raising your legs will also improve circulation and ease swelling. When getting up in the morning, raising the backrest with the electric handset will put you in a seated position. This will make exiting the bed much easier, ensuring you get the best possible start to the day ahead. Our rotating chair beds make the process of getting out of bed much easier, moving the user from lying down to a seated position.

      Quality adjustable beds can relieve arthritis symptoms by distributing your body weight evenly. If you have arthritis, you are likely to experience tenderness and pressure on your joints. Sleeping in an adjustable bed helps to relieve pressure on the body, especially on the spine. Our adjustable bed frames allow you to sit up properly by raising the backrest without needing pillows. This benefits those with arthritis, as pillow propping can be painful and uncomfortable.

      Meanwhile, sleeping with your legs elevated improves circulation and reduces tension. This makes an electric bed particularly suitable for people with arthritis.

      If you have any questions or would like more advice, we’ll be happy to help you find the best solution.

      Is your mattress affecting your Arthritis?

      Sleeping on the wrong mattress type can impact joint pain and discomfort, making it harder to sleep for those with arthritic conditions.

      An old and uncomfortable mattress can significantly reduce sleep quality for someone with arthritis. The best type of mattress is one that is supportive and properly contours to your body shape. Our range of mattresses offer orthopaedic benefits, which help those affected manage their life with arthritis.

      If you are unsure whether your current mattress is providing sufficient support, check the position of your spine when you lie on it. If you have a curve in your back, this means you have added pressure in the area, which can increase pain.

      You should have a comfortable mattress, however if it's overly soft, this may cause further issues. If you or your loved one have arthritis, we suggest choosing a medium to firm mattress. If your mattress is too soft, it may not properly support the body and can put added pressure on your joints. 

      All our mattresses are suitable for a 10-night home trial when you purchase a protector sheet. This lets you try out a mattress in the comfort of your own home, so you can check if it's suitable for your needs.

      Sleeping habits that promote better sleep

      Building better sleeping habits can help manage arthritis symptoms to enhance your quality of sleep. Getting into the habit of making small changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference to your sleep and overall well being. 

      Changes you can make include:

      • Setting a regular bedtime
      • Sleeping in a dark and well-ventilated room
      • Avoiding using mobile devices and tablets an hour before bed
      • Not eating large meals right before bed - especially spicy or fatty foods

      However, this is not an endless list. If in doubt, you should consider contacting your GP or a healthcare professional.

      Support groups for people with Arthritis 

      Joining a support group or talking to a therapist can help people cope with the challenges associated with arthritis. Emotional support is important for everyone, especially those living with chronic medical conditions.

      Some organisations where you or your loved one can get support are:

      • Versus Arthritis - Versus Arthritis was formed in 2018 following a merger of Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK. They campaign to challenge the misconceptions around arthritis and to ensure it is recognised as a priority in the UK. They also offer support if needed.

      The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society - Founded in 2001, the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) is the only UK charity devoted specifically to rheumatoid arthritis. NRAS runs a freephone helpline, provides information through publications and runs support groups around the UK.

      Allow Opera Beds help you find the best mattress for rheumatoid arthritis in the UK 

      If you suffer from arthritis and you're looking for the best mattress for rheumatoid arthritis in the UK, for over 20 years, Opera has helped people find the best bed to suit their needs and lifestyle, including those with arthritic health conditions. Our team will get to understand you or your loved ones needs through a consultation call, providing personalised solutions as part of the process. Find out more about what you can expect in our Opera Journey Video.

      All our beds, mattresses and care bed accessories can be purchased directly through our website, so if you're ready to get started, quality sleep is only a click away. 

      If you'd like to speak to somebody first, you can call our friendly team on 0370 218 6410.

      Arthritis FAQ's

      Some commonly asked questions about arthritis include:

      What really causes arthritis?
      Arthritis can be caused by autoimmune diseases, injuries or infections. It can be genetically passed within families as well.

      What are the early signs of arthritis?
      Early signs include fatigue, stiffness, joint pain, fever, numbness, tingling and difficulty moving.

      Can you be cured of arthritis?
      There isn't yet a cure but early diagnosis can prevent it from worsening and there are treatments that help ease symptoms.

      Which foods make arthritis worse?
      Arthritis can be worsened by frequently eating fried foods, foods high in sugars, dairy, alcohol, salt and preservatives.

      How do you check for arthritis?
      If you think you may be developing signs of arthritis, see your GP. Your doctor will examine your symptoms, perform a physical evaluation, take an X-ray and do blood tests to determine whether you have arthritis.

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