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Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: March 2023

If you have axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), getting a good night's rest can be a struggle. Pain and discomfort might make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Studies have shown that sleep problems are a common issue for those with axSpA.1,2

Lack of sleep can lead to higher levels of pain, stiffness, and exhaustion. When you don't get good restorative sleep, it can leave you feeling cranky and out of sorts. This can also make it harder for you to enjoy your life and be happy. But some actions may help make your sleep more comfortable.1,2

General tips to help you get a better night's sleep include:3

  • Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day
  • Exercising during the day, but avoiding strenuous exercise right before bedtime
  • Eating a balanced diet that is low in sugar and caffeine

Keep reading for more specific tips to get the best shut-eye each night.

Set your thermostat

For the best sleep, keep your bedroom cool – between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit if possible. This helps your body relax. You might also want to use lighter-weight sheets and blankets. This way, you won’t overheat during the night.1,4

Choose the right mattress and pillow

Shop around for a bed that is comfortable for you. If you have axSpA, sleeping on the wrong mattress can make your symptoms worse. Find a mattress that is supportive, as this might help reduce any pain or stiffness you feel in the morning. Try different types of pillows and cushions until you find one that works for you.1

Make your bedroom a restful place

Keep distractions away from your bedroom. This includes things like phones, TVs, bright lights, and even pets. These distractions can disrupt your sleep and make it hard to relax before bedtime. Set up a comfortable place outside of the bedroom where you can watch TV or use your phone.1,3

Ditch the late-night caffeine or alcohol

Caffeine is a stimulant that can stay in your body for several hours. This means that having a cup of coffee in the evening can make it harder for you to sleep at night. And while drinking alcohol close to bedtime might make it easier to fall asleep, it will make it harder to stay asleep throughout the night.3,5

Get your body ready for bedtime

Try out relaxation techniques before bedtime. Take some deep breaths, or do some stretching exercises to help relax your body. You could also listen to soothing music or meditate for a few minutes. All of these activities will help prepare your mind and body for sleep.1,3

Review your medicines

Ask your doctor whether you are taking any drugs that might keep you up at night. Some drugs can have an effect on sleep patterns and interfere with your ability to get restful slumber. Your doctor may be able to switch out the drug or adjust the dosage so that you can get the rest you need.3,6

Other things to keep in mind

If you follow these tips, you should be well on your way to getting plenty of restful sleep. But remember that it may take some time for your body to adjust. Try not to lose hope if the results are not immediate.

Sleep problems that last a long time can be a sign of a sleep or mood disorder. Talk to your doctor about your sleep habits. Partnering with your doctor can help you find the best strategies for a good night’s sleep. With enough patience, you should be able to find a sleep routine that works for you.3,7

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