Arthritis and Sleep: How Heat Therapy Can Help

Have you stayed awake at night thinking about how much pain you're in from arthritis? Did you know that poor sleep often creates stress, which in turn can induce pain? If you have arthritis, this isn't news to you. According to, nearly "80% of people with arthritis have trouble sleeping"[1]. Stay tuned, friend, because there is hope to regain better sleep and a happier you.

Painful nights caused by arthritis produces sleep deprivation and the side effects are not fun. They include: fatigue, stress, more pain and irritability (in no particular order). It's hard to relax at night and find your comfort zone in bed when you're irritated from not sleeping, in pain from arthritis and stressed out because of the pain.

Those are just the side effects caused naturally. If you're currently taking medication for your arthritis or sleep deprivation, you can probably add more to the list of unwanted outcomes.

If you have swollen joints, they're most likely inflamed and you should use an ice pack to reduce the swelling. Remember not to put ice directly on the skin (put the ice in a plastic sandwich bag and wrap the bag in a washcloth), and never leave it on for too long. Take breaks and repeat the treatment until relief is found.

On the other hand, if your arthritic joints aren't swollen but you're still stiff and achy, Heat Therapy is a practice you should make as part of your wellness routine. Heat is "an easy, inexpensive, and medication-free way to relieve some types of arthritis stiffness and pain"[2].

What Makes Heat Therapy So Effective?

WHEN TO APPLY: As long as the joint is not swollen, anytime is a good time!