Simple methods 'improve quality of sleep in RA patients'

Posted on 04 March 2011

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients can use simple methods to improve their sleep, one expert has said, which could be useful advice to those paying for care.

Alison Wyndham, director of the Wyndham Centre, has said that those with RA can improve their sleep quality by refraining from watching television or using a computer shortly before they go to bed.

All electrical devices should be switched off and the room should be dark to prepare for sleep, although meditation tapes can be utilised well, she added.

Individuals may also choose to utilise nutrients to improve their sleeping habits. She recommended B vitamins for stress and magnesium for aching muscles as it is a natural relaxant and sedative.

"5HTP [5-hydroxytryptophan] an amino acid that is the 'precursor' to serotonin and has been known to improve the quality of sleep, reduce the time taken to go to sleep and reduce the number of times of night time awakenings," added Ms Wyndham.

This comes after a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that poor sleep quality was associated with higher levels of depression, fatigue and functional disability, making it all the more important for sufferers to get a good night's rest.

 

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