A Bel Marra Health report indicates osteoarthritis pain-related fatigue can be combated by improving sleep habits.
When you’re in pain it becomes difficult to sleep. That in itself seems like the most direct reason why osteoarthritis pain can contribute to fatigue, but research has found it to be more complex than that. Insomnia and osteoarthritis have been found to coexist, not so much one leading to the other.
In a 2012 study published in Sleep, researchers uncovered two things:
- Pain felt prior to bed had little association with how well they slept.
- Sleep quality was linked with next day pain level. Poor sleep was linked to more pain the following day.
But how does insomnia promote joint pain? Well, researchers believe that insomnia creates inflammation pathways that worsen osteoarthritis pain. Furthermore, poor sleep can make you more sensitive to the feeling of pain.
While being in pain and not being able to sleep is bad enough for the sufferer, it has also been shown to affect the partner sharing the bed as well. From studying the spouses of 138 osteoarthritis patients researchers found the spouses felt less refreshed in the morning. Additionally, the closer the spouses were, the worse the non-osteoarthritic spouse felt, leading researchers to believe that spouses feel more empathy.