Have you ever had a night where gout pain kept you tossing and turning? Sleep quality can have a huge impact on your health and well-being so when gout starts to interfere, it can have far-reaching consequences. The inflammation, swelling, and unyielding discomfort can make gout seem like the world’s worst uninvited guest. When you’re in so much pain that even your blanket seems to rub you the wrong way, the right approach can help you kick out gout. Keep reading for tips and tricks to help you snore through the sore.
How To Sleep With Gout Pain When A Flare Up Strikes
1. Raise Your Joint
Prop your affected joint on a pillow. This can reduce swelling and take the edge off the pain (1).
2. Lower The Flame
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen, can help to reduce the pain and swelling in your inflamed joint. If you take prescription medication or have a health condition, check with your physician before taking any over-the-counter medications. Alternatively, with your doctor’s approval, you can take natural anti-inflammatory supplements, like Turmeric with BioPerine®, to help not only reduce inflammation but also combat pain. A clinical study found Turmeric to be as effective as ibuprofen at reducing pain and inflammation in the case of knee osteoarthritis (2). Though this study was specific to osteoarthritis, it may have implications for other types of arthritis, including gout.
3. Ice The Pain
Applying cold to the inflamed area can offer relief (1). Be sure that the ice is wrapped in a cloth and not directly on your skin or it can irritate the skin. Aim for 20-minute icing intervals.
4. Use Lightweight Bedding
If you can’t sleep without a blanket covering, switch to a lightweight blanket so that it is less likely to press against your gouty joint and cause irritation that will keep you awake.
5. Embrace Herbs
Natural herbs such as Chamomile and Valerian Root can help to promote sleep and might make it easier for you to snooze despite the discomfort in your joint. Additionally, Chamomile has traditionally been used for arthritis and clinical evidence supports its anti-inflammatory effects (3). You can try a cup of sleep promoting tea or if tea isn’t your thing, an herbal supplement might be a better option.
Avoiding Gout Flare-Ups From Before Bedtime
While knowing what to do when a gout flare-up strikes can help you fall back asleep, avoidance is better than a cure. To reduce the chances of having your sleep disturbed by gout, try these home remedies for gout:
1. Take Dietary Action
There are two main dietary changes that can improve gout: cutting out certain foods and adding in others. Avoiding foods high in purines, like certain seafood and organ meats, can reduce uric acid levels and decrease the risk of flare-ups (4). Also, cutting back on alcohol, especially beer, can help in managing gout better. Adding in foods that lower uric acid levels, such as cherries, garlic, and artichoke can help reduce the risk of gout.
Unfortunately, sometimes diet alone is not strong enough or fast enough. Additionally, even though cherries can help lower uric acid, eating too many cherries can cause nausea and these fruits aren’t always in season. This is where supplements come in to the picture.
Supplements can provide large doses of beneficial compounds in a quick and easy manner and they are always in season. For example, one serving of Approved Science® Uric Acid Flush provides 400 mg of Tart Cherry in addition to other herbs that can help you manage your gout. Plus, Approved Science® also offers a Tart Cherry supplement with 1500 mg of Tart Cherry for the ultimate gout-fighting boost.
2. Stay Hydrated
In addition to getting sufficient sleep and managing your diet, drinking water completes the triumvirate of gout care. Maintaining adequate hydration helps the body to circulate nutrients and flush out gout-inducing uric acid (5).
3. Manage Stress
Emotional stress is believed to increase uric acid levels which can bring on a gout attack (6). If you’re feeling stressed, try some meditation or breathing exercises before you lay down for the night or even throughout the day.
Sleeping with gout may be challenging but it’s not impossible. Incorporating a mix of lifestyle changes, dietary habits, and natural remedies can significantly improve your chances of a good night’s sleep. Immediate relief methods prove invaluable during a flare-up, but it’s preventive measures that can ensure long-term comfort. Navigating the discomfort of gout during the night may be daunting, but with these proven strategies, you can face every flare-up with confidence.
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