What is painsomnia?
The inability to sleep is a common feature of arthritis. When the sleep issue is caused by chronic pain, it is called painsomnia.
Painsomnia is a common issue for sufferers of both osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis. At night, when there is less movement and distraction, the sensation of pain can increase. This is because the pain is now the primary sensory stimulus.
The issues associated with poor sleep include:
- Low concentration levels
- More pain
- Weaker immune system
- Reduced repair mechanisms in the body
- Increased irritability and anxiety
- Weight gain
Painsomnia can have a direct impact on the ability of the brain to manage pain symptoms. This means that there is suffering in the daytime related to movement as well as during the night while trying to sleep.
There is a simple way to improve the quality of sleep which can positively impact the quality of life.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night. But your risk of insomnia is greater if:
- You're a woman. Hormonal shifts during the menstrual cycle and in menopause may play a role. During menopause, night sweats and hot flashes often disrupt sleep. Insomnia is also common with pregnancy.
- You're over age 60. Because of changes in sleep patterns and health, insomnia increases with age.
- You have a mental health disorder or physical health condition. Many issues that impact your mental or physical health can disrupt sleep.
- You're under a lot of stress. Stressful times and events can cause temporary insomnia. And major or long-lasting stress can lead to chronic insomnia.
- You don't have a regular schedule. For example, changing shifts at work or traveling can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle.