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Sleeping positions or tips for more comfort
#258489 09/22/13 05:10 PM
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Does anyone find a particular way of sleeping that helps with pain and stiffness?
Since my symptoms started I have changed beds several times.I now have a memory foam topped matress with a sturdy divan base.I use two pillows but I also have a V-Shaped pillow I need to use.I struggle to get a comfortable nights sleep as I know many of us do.I always wake up in the early hours very sore and especially around my mid back and inbetween shoulder blades and also my lower back across my lower back and bottom.I also have pain on outer side of thighs and sometimes numbness.Ive tried sleeping with a pillow inbetween my legs and also tried less pillows & More pillows.When it comes to the second half of the night the only relief I get is if I get up and stretch,after shuffling like an old lady to the toilet.And then propping my pillows up to almost sleep in an upright/sitting position.Then take more pain relief.I seem to get a little relief from this position.
Does anyone else find this or find another way more comfortable?
Any tips?

Thanks


Age-29, UK.
Diagnosed Nov 2013 with Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthropathy.Symptoms began around 2004. Kidney Problems 2010. Fracture ankle/leg needed surgery plates/pins 2008. PCOS 2000. IBS 2000. ASTHMA 1996
Current Meds-Humira 40mg, Ibuprofen 600mg, Cocodomal 30/500mg , Loratadine 10mg, Buscopan 10mg, Salbutamol & Clenil Modulite Inhalers, Amitriptyline 50mg, Fluoxetine 40mg, Lansoprazole 30mg, Diazepan 2mg as required & Temazepan 10mg as required.
Re: Sleeping positions or tips for more comfort
Lotus1984 #258493 09/22/13 07:33 PM
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Lotus, I can't speak for everyone but I have struggled for several years trying to sleep. Memory foam pillow helped for a while then it too ceased to help. Sleeping pills (restoril) and muscle relaxers (tizanidine) have been my best help. I still wake very stiff and struggle to get out of bed but do sleep.


Poppa John:
Symptomatic since 1988, diagnosed with Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia, probable IBD March 2013. HLA B27 neg. Sacroillitis, Osteitis, Fibromyalgia
Fused T 2-12, Fused C 5-7, HNP L4-5 with laminectomy/discectomy 2014.
Re: Sleeping positions or tips for more comfort
Lotus1984 #258499 09/22/13 09:47 PM
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I just know that unless I am on a short steroid course (the only real treatment option I have right now) there is no way I can survive a full 8 hours straight in bed. I deliberately have something to drink fairly close to the time I go to bed, to force a middle-of-the-night bathroom trip, because that helps me move around just enough that I can get back to sleep comfortably enough to get the sleep I need. I've long since given up on staying in bed the whole night.

As far as pillows go - like you I have a range of different ones, and use them whereever necessary. I usually only have a very thin pillow (a small squishy microbead filled one) under my neck, but if side sleeping will have one between my legs and another thick one to rest my upper arm on (to keep my upper back and shoulder in a good position).


Cauda equina type neurogenic bladder problems. Coeliac disease. Sicca syndrome. Ataxic gait and use crutches. Non-specific gut problems. Current treatment: Low dose naltrexone, low starch diet (Guts shredded by NSAIDs. Previously diclofenac worked well, not eligible for anti-tnfs, hypersensitivity to SSZ). Also short bursts of pred for bad flares
Re: Sleeping positions or tips for more comfort
Lotus1984 #258502 09/22/13 10:40 PM
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The only thing that helps with pain and stiffness for me is getting up during the night. I generally get up twice, sometimes three times, stagger to the bathroom, then get back in bed. The bathroom trip loosens me up just enough to get back to sleep.

I can't sleep on my right side because of enthesitis pain in my right elbow and wrist, so I alternate between sleeping on my left side and on my back. I start on my left side with a standard bed pillow between my legs. When I roll to my back I fold the pillow and put under my knees.

Sometimes in the wee hours of the morning I can't get back to sleep no matter what I do. When that happens I head for the recliner. Sometimes I can fall back asleep right away in the recliner; other times I read my Kindle or play solitaire on my tablet until exhaustion takes over.


Ginny - 58 year old female
Dx with USpA in March 2013; changed to AS in July 2015
Iritis and Scleritis, both currently in remission
unicompartmental knee replacements: right-June 2014, left-Aug 2018
MTX, Humira, Cyclobenzaprine, plus Celebrex as needed
Supplements: Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fish Oil, Culturelle probiotic, Melatonin (as needed)
Re: Sleeping positions or tips for more comfort
Lotus1984 #258504 09/23/13 12:21 AM
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It's crazy how sleeping is so hard for us! Homemade ice packs help me numb the aching and stiffness. If I can sleep two hours between retrieving new ice packs I consider it a good night. When it's only one or one and a half between trips to the freezer, I start feeling pretty disappointed. I started using a very thin blanket for my pillow four years ago. That helped and any real height will trigger nerve spasms.
At one time, I was taking 4 muscle relaxers, a lunesta, about 6 or more antihistamine, and 2-4 Ty Pms for any real sleep, but I have backed off on the Tylenol and antihistamines when I can. I started taking magnesium malate recently, which I was told is a good natl muscle relaxer, and several forms of melatonin. Who knows?! *lol*


Beth, 50 yr old female; A.S., HLAB27+, neuropathy, hypothyroidism, Teitze's disease, Addison's Disease, heart dis, fibromyalgia, chronic disease-induced anemia, hypoglycemic, & IBS
Re: Sleeping positions or tips for more comfort
Lotus1984 #258511 09/23/13 03:24 AM
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Well, to be honest, my sleep arrangements are almost irrelevant but sleep hygiene is extremely important as is timing my medication. For example, I frequently fall asleep in the floor and sleep there all night, without a pillow. Now, my floor has a thick pad and thick carpet, but I've slept in the living room floor, office floor, bedroom floor, etc. Also, I've been on campouts where I slept on a 2" air mattress. None of this seems to matter much despite my fused and messed up neck, hip replacement, etc.

What does matter for me is good sleep hygiene and taking medicine carefully. I am careful to turn off the lights at least an hour before bed, so my natural melatonin starts working. I also stretch for about 2 hours right before bed, which is why I often fall asleep in the floor - because I had been stretching. I use a small space heater while I stretch because it relaxes my back muscles. No caffeine after 3 PM in the daytime, no sugar at night, no exercise within 2 hours of bed, etc. No loud TV or noise or music. I do use a fan for white noise.

As for medicine, I punted sleeping pills 2 years ago, after being on Ambien for 10 years then Restoril for 10 years. I could tell it wasn't working anymore, and although it took me 4 months to taper off, I slept much better without the pills and still do 2 years later.

I do take muscle relaxers and pain pills, along with 2 antidepressants that have sedative properties, before I sleep. I synchronize all the pills to hit the peak blood plasma levels concurrrently, and timed to end with the 2 hours of stretching. No, this isn't always the perfect recipe, but I do pretty well considering how messed up my neck is and the fused state of my spine.


Dx w/ AS in 1985. HLA-B27+. Left total hip replacement in 1998, lost 2" of height due to osteoporosis. Relevant meds include Remicade, Oxycontin, Percocet, Lyrica, Soma.7 hour spine fusion surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy and radiculopathy but have residual myelopathy. I have generalized osteoarthritis and have worn out hips, knees, big toes, and some fingers are fused or growing bones. Disabled since 2015. Chronic pain patient on a high dose of opioids. Live in zero gravity chair.
Re: Sleeping positions or tips for more comfort
Lotus1984 #258639 09/25/13 01:12 PM
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Do you take the amitriptyline regularly? It has been the only thing that has worked wonders for my sleep. Before starting it, I could not sleep on my back for six months. Of course, when I'm in a flare like now, I might need tramadol in addition to my nightly amitriptyline - acetaminophen - muscle relaxer combo to get a decent night, but all in all I'm very pleased with it. Getting better sleep has made waking up easier in the morning, quite the opposite of what some people experience with the tricyclics.

(my current dose is 30 mg, FWIW)

Re: Sleeping positions or tips for more comfort
Lotus1984 #258652 09/25/13 07:10 PM
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I haven't slept on my back in years. I have to sleep on my side. I also have a large bone spur (endthesis) {spelling}, on my right AC joint which causes considerable pain after sleeping on my right side. I take Cymbalta, Restoril, and Tizanidine before bedtime. Dark room would be nice but my wife can't sleep without the tv on. Honestly, if I turn it off she wakes up. I am sleeping a bit better since I got my cpap.


Poppa John:
Symptomatic since 1988, diagnosed with Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia, probable IBD March 2013. HLA B27 neg. Sacroillitis, Osteitis, Fibromyalgia
Fused T 2-12, Fused C 5-7, HNP L4-5 with laminectomy/discectomy 2014.
Re: Sleeping positions or tips for more comfort
Lotus1984 #258685 09/26/13 05:51 PM
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I usually sleep on my back, with a soft pillow behind my knees. Then a sort of 'frog-legged' leg position. It seems to relax my SI and hips. And usually get up once during night, but usually go back to sleep afterwards. Maybe 3 hrs sleep on either side of the bathroom trip. And I have a Tempurpedic mattress. Good luck. Hope you get some good tips.


Psoriatic Arthritis, Osteoporosis HLAB27+
MTX, gabapentin, strontium citrate
Cosentyx from Oct to Dec 2017. Then back to Cimzia in May 2018.
Already tried Remicade, Enbrel, Simponi, Humira, Cimzia, Cosentyx.
Re: Sleeping positions or tips for more comfort
Poppa_John #258703 09/26/13 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted By: Poppa_John
I haven't slept on my back in years. I have to sleep on my side. I also have a large bone spur (endthesis) {spelling}, on my right AC joint which causes considerable pain after sleeping on my right side. I take Cymbalta, Restoril, and Tizanidine before bedtime. Dark room would be nice but my wife can't sleep without the tv on. Honestly, if I turn it off she wakes up. I am sleeping a bit better since I got my cpap.


Your life of sleeping with the TV on sounds like the definition of hell to me.

If you need all those strong medications (with harmful long term side effects) to sleep through the spondylitis, that is one thing, but if you are taking some of them to sleep through the TV, that is quite another. I would really speak with your wife about it if I were you. It sounds really selfish on her part to expect you to risk your health with meds just so she can sleep better. And even if it doesn't harm your health but just bothers you it sounds selfish on her part. Can't she just wear earphones to bed if she must have noise?

Last edited by seekonk; 09/26/13 08:02 PM.

Spondylitis since '08, finally diagnosed Feb '11.
Enbrel 50mg/week.
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