What Are the Best Sleeping Positions If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

rheumatoid arthritis sleep position
What Are the Best Sleeping Positions If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis can cause tenderness, stiffness, and discomfort in the affected joints. It could be difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep, depending on which joints are affected.

An autoimmune condition known as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterised by pain and inflammation in the joints, in addition to other symptoms like weakness, fever, and exhaustion. Experts believe that 80% of individuals with arthritis have trouble sleeping, which may be brought on by these joint discomfort symptoms.

In contrast to other forms of arthritis, RA typically affects the same joints on both sides of the body, including the hands. Even though RA can affect any joint, hands, wrists, and knees are the most commonly affected.

A restful night's sleep is even more crucial for your health if you have RA, as this chronic inflammatory condition may already cause you to feel fatigued. In actuality, chronic sleep deprivation can exacerbate discomfort associated with RA.

Think about several methods you can control your RA discomfort and how you might arrange yourself for a better night's sleep.

Best sleeping position for rheumatoid arthritis

Changing your sleeping position to accommodate the joints affected by RA may be beneficial. Here's how to do this if you have symptoms in any of these body parts that are frequently impacted.

Relief for hand and wrist pain

The little joints in the hands and wrists are where RA typically starts to manifest. Consult a doctor about wearing compression gloves or splints while you sleep if this kind of joint pain is preventing you from getting any sleep.

Sleeping on your side

Sleeping on your side might put additional strain on your knee, hip, and shoulder joints. It's hard to avoid moving when you sleep, so even if you don't usually sleep on your side, you can still get up there.

Therefore, using techniques to support these joints may assist in reducing pain anytime you're on your side. For instance, to prevent your shoulder joint from rolling forward while you sleep, try using a large pillow to support the shoulder if you wind up in pain.

Try putting a cushion between your legs for extra support of your hip joints to help with RA-related hip pain. Using the same tactic, you can reduce RA-related knee pain by supporting yourself with a pair of cushions between your knees.

How to reduce RA foot pain

If your RA foot discomfort keeps you awake at night, consider placing a towel or weighted blanket on top of your feet. When you're sleeping on your back, this works best.

If you sleep on your side, using compression stockings could help support the joints in your feet.

Tips for sleeping on your back with RA

Your neck and spine may still be affected by RA, even though it's less prevalent than other types of joint discomfort.

Choosing the right cushion to support these joints when you sleep on your back is essential to preventing pain from getting worse. Additionally, you can place pillows on the small of your back and under your knees. When you sleep on your back, a little U-shaped pillow can also support your neck.

Can you sleep on your stomach with RA pain?

Your neck and back may experience more strain if you sleep on your stomach. If you can, try to avoid sleeping in this posture if RA has impacted these joints.

Other tips for managing nighttime rheumatoid arthritis pain

In addition to changing your sleeping position, you might want to think about the following strategies to deal with RA pain during the night:
  • reducing inflammation in the afflicted joints by administering cold compresses
  • Applying a heating pad to the afflicted regions before sleeping
  • having a warm bath or shower before going to bed
  • using over-the-counter painkillers, but only if a physician advises them to meditate before night.
  • establishing a calming evening routine that includes reading and avoiding gadgets
  • maintaining a regular sleep routine that entails waking up and going to bed at the same times every day


One of the complications of all forms of arthritis, including RA, is sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep and pain frequently coexist.

Short-term disruptions are possible, but persistent sleep deprivation might exacerbate your illness. As a result, you can feel more discomfort in your joints and more inflammation.

One tactic to help you obtain the sleep you need to manage your RA symptoms and your general health is to change your sleeping positions. Consult a physician about additional RA therapy options that might be beneficial.


Is rest good for rheumatoid arthritis?

Balancing activity and rest is an important part of self-care for RA.

Is the sun good for rheumatoid arthritis?

vitamin D deficiency has been linked to autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Can vitamin D stop arthritis?

Vitamin D is a crucial component for many forms of arthritis since it appears to have a part in immune system health and inflammation reduction.

Has anyone recovered from rheumatoid arthritis?

remission can feel like it

How should you sleep with rheumatoid arthritis?

Place a pillow or blanket beneath your knees and potentially another under the small of your back when you're sleeping on your back. Place pillows under your legs if you sleep on your back. Put a pillow or pillows between your knees if you sleep on your side.

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