How much sleep do I need? relaxing music or reading.

How much sleep do I need?
How much sleep you need varies
a lot from person to person. An
average is 7½ hours but normal
can be between 3 and 12 hours.
What is a ‘good’ night’s sleep?
A ‘good’ night’s sleep should
allow you to be refreshed and
wakeful during the day. (Although
in some rheumatology conditions
it is common to feel fatigue in the
What sort of things does lack
of sleep do?
Lack of refreshing sleep can
cause problems such as day time
sleepiness, difficulty
concentrating and less motivation
to do tasks. It can also become
an unhelpful cycle when lack of
sleep increases anxiety and
depression so making pain worse
and so affecting sleep.
Poor sleep
Increased pain
Anxiety &
How do I break the cycle?
Try to establish a routine bedtime
and regular waking time.
Here are some simple but effective
do’s and don’ts to help you improve
your sleep.
Your bedroom:
If possible keep your bedroom as
a room that you only use for
sleeping, e.g. not used as an
office as well.
Keep your bedroom at a
comfortable temperature, not too
The bedroom is as peaceful and
quiet as possible.
Use you curtains to block out the
Have as comfortable and
supportive a bed as you can.
(Your bed should support your
body and neck following the
natural curves. Too many or too
few pillows can lead to an aching
have an untidy, cluttered
Before you go to sleep:
Do something restful before you
go to bed e.g. listening to
relaxing music or reading.
Keep a regular bedtime
(your body clock will adjust).
A warm milky drink before
you go to bed can help
A warm bath before you go
to bed can help. (You might
like to use relaxing oils in
your bath such as lavender –
always read the instructions
Take adequate pain relief
before you go to bed such
as anti-inflammatories and
pain killers.
Use other pain relieving aids
such as hot or cold packs or
gentle massage
Use you resting splints if
your joints are painful or
Don’t exercise for at least an
hour before you go to bed.
go to bed hungry or over full.
Eat only a light snack if you
need something.
drink stimulating drinks before
bed eg tea, coffee and cola.
drink alcohol as a nightcap. It
may help to get you to sleep
but will disturb your sleep in
the night.
rely on sleeping tablets
regularly if you can help it.
These are useful short term
but are better avoided long
If you still cannot get to sleep:
Get up and go into another
room. Do something relaxing
such as reading until you feel
sleepy then go back to bed.
Repeat this as often as you
need to.
Write down anything on your
mind which is keeping you
lie in bed not sleeping, get up
and go to another room until
you feel sleepy then return to
bed and try again.
Keep as active as possible
during the day.
A regular exercise programme
will help with your sleep quality.
Don’t sleep in the daytime.
Comments, compliments or
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about the quality of our care and our
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Improving Sleep
Information for patients
Rheumatology Service
Sandra Hargreaves,
Occupational Therapist
01625 661484
Jenny Ratcliffe, Physiotherapist
01625 661481
Elizabeth Meecham,
Rheumatology Nurse,
01625 661978
Macclesfield District General
Ref:10893 Review: 1/2016