Gout can affect many different areas of our lives throughout the day and night. From the way we socialise to our sleep hygiene, this incurable condition can bring about many negative lifestyle changes.
Fortunately, there are many tips and tricks, as well as general advice, that can be useful in helping you manage your condition during the night. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the ways you can improve your nighttime routine, to ensure you can continue to feel the benefits of a healthy sleeping cycle.
How can gout affect sleep?
Particularly when you’re suffering with a medical condition, getting enough sleep should be of high priority since it’s such an important recovery tool. However, the symptoms associated with gout can make drifting off (and staying asleep) difficult, which is why it’s so important to take the necessary steps to treat your condition.
What’s more, some research shows that gout flare-ups are more than twice as likely to occur at night or in the early morning. Attacks can be extremely painful and debilitating, which is why they’re likely to affect a sufferer’s sleep.
Limit the attacks
Whilst it’s impossible to completely stop attacks from happening, there are many things you can do to help reduce the likelihood of flare-ups disrupting your sleep.
One of the most important lifestyle changes you can make to help manage your condition is to look at your diet, and cut out any foods that are likely to contribute to more frequent flare-ups. In particular, purine-rich foods have been shown to increase the risk of attacks – namely red meats, seafood and organ meats like liver. Avoid these wherever possible, and try to consume more foods that are low in purine, such as vegetables, tofu and lentils.
Manage the pain
Developing effective pain relief techniques is crucial in enabling you to continue living your life with as little disturbance as possible. There are lots of different things you can try to help manage the pain, particularly at night.
Firstly, ice is a useful tool in helping to relieve discomfort – icing the affected area for around 30 minutes should help to reduce pain. Secondly, if you have been given nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs by your doctor, taking the recommended dosage will help to ease regular flare-ups. Finally, elevating the joint will help to alleviate the pressure and reduce swelling, so consider bringing a few extra pillows or blankets to bed to rest the affected area on.
Improve your nighttime routine
Improving your nighttime routine can go a long way towards improving your overall sleep health as a gout sufferer. It’s vital that you take steps to create a healthy sleeping environment, ensuring you’re implementing conditions that are conducive to a good night’s sleep.
Some of the most important things you can do include avoiding caffeine in the evenings, limiting your screen time before going to bed, and sleeping in a dark, quiet room. Working on your general sleep hygiene will help you be more rested and you will find it easier to both fall and stay asleep.
Peter has been a keen blogger and amateur food critic for over 20 years. When eating and drink Peter loves spending time with his family and friends.