Rheumatoid Arthritis – Sleep

Oh gosh, I hope ya’ll appreciate me letting you see the mess that I am.  I hope that you love me anyway!  Let’s talk SLEEP!

I’m sure you’ve read a million articles that talk about the importance of good sleep when you have RA.  Do you have good sleep?  Any bed/bedroom practices that help?   I’m not the sleep expert, but I do have some things that are working for me.

Please appreciate the photo below, and the fact that I’m allowing the world to see the messy room that I have.  And yes, this is what my bed typically looks like, including the dust on the headboard.  My bed gets made about twice a year, and THIS IS OK!  I’m not a 1950s housewife, and I’m just not holding myself accountable to a magazine cover perfect house.  I have RA and some things must be adjusted accordingly…. plus I hate making the bed, so it’s a good excuse!

Here’s the deal.  I toss and turn a lot.  This does not make a good night’s sleep for me or my husband.  Note the satin fitted sheet.  It’s slicker than snot.  It makes rolling over much easier (aka, I don’t wake my husband up so much).  I can’t use the satin top sheet or pillow cases because they’re so slippery, they just slide off.  We have a queen sized bed.  A king would probably work better, but for us this would involve losing a lot of storage in our queen sized headboard unit.  It’s summer right now, so we each have a blanket and no sheet.  Because I toss and turn so much, we each have our own blankets (my tossing and turning makes less impact on him, plus it’s another good excuse to not make the bed).  In the winter, I usually add a flannel sheet and heavier blankets for us both.  He has a thick pillow with memory foam.  Mine is thinner.  I may try memory foam again, but the one I have is way too thick.  General rule, if you have narrow shoulders like me, you probably need a thinner pillow.  Keep your neck in good alignment (advice my PT gave me).

We have a firm mattress.  I’ve seen many articles that talk about having a mattress that’s soft so that you don’t have pressure points.  I sleep TERRIBLE on soft beds.  Here’s my thinking.  If I make it through the whole night without moving, I am a mess in the morning.  My body NEEDS to shift positions, and a firmer mattresses helps with that.  Everybody needs to find what works for their needs, but that’s mine.  Find what works for you.

I would love some comments on what works for your sleep!  Please share!

Note the satin fitted sheet, lack of regular sheet, and 2 blankets

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