Sleep has long been referred to as “the small death” for a reason. When we fall asleep, typically, we’re unaware of anything that happens to us until we wake up again the next morning (or at 2 AM for the potty trot).
And it turns out that if you have arthritis and you’re living with agonizing joint pain in your knees, there’s one thing that happens while you’re “dead to the world” that could silently make it worse.
As bizarre as it sounds, a common sleep issue could be causing you to suffer from more joint…
It’s called sleep apnea. The disorder is shared by millions. Yet most of the people who are living with the condition don’t even know it.
But once you learn to spot apnea, you can act to stop it. And when you do, not only will your overall health improve, but you could also end up putting the brakes on worsening joint pain and damage.
And I’ve got just what you need to get started.
Beat knee pain by ending this silent sleep problem
If there’s one thing that’s always true about joint pain, it’s that nothing is ever “ALWAYS TRUE” about joint pain. It seems to come and go with no rhyme or reason.
Sometimes your joints feel so bad you fear you’ll never enjoy a pain-free day again. Then, just like that, the aches vanish again, and you begin to wonder if they won’t come back this time.
Of course, that’s just a cruel prank because it always returns and often gets worse with every flair-up. At some point, your knee pain might even move in for good.
But new research offers a clue why joint pain may get worse in some cases. And it’s NOT just the typical wear-and-tear on the joints. It’s connected to that sleep issue I mentioned earlier.
When you have sleep apnea, you repeatedly stop breathing throughout the night. And researchers say that the same condition has an unexpected link to severe joint pain, according to their new study on older women.
In fact, the worse the participant’s apnea was, the more joint pain they had.
The team behind the new study believes it may be, at least in part, due to hormonal changes.
From earlier research, we know these changes are associated with worsening sleep apnea and pain. But now, the researchers suspect they may specifically affect the estrogen receptors in our joint tissue.
Oh, and guys, while estrogen-linked joint inflammation may be more common in women, guys have estrogen receptors in their joint tissues as well. So it could be behind your joint pain too.
Ease apnea and ease the joint pain
Because apnea happens during sleep, many of the folks who have the disorder don’t actually know it. But if you wake up feeling less than refreshed most of the time, you could have it.
Your spouse might be able to spot your sleep apnea if they observe you stopping breathing throughout the night. And, of course, a doctor can help confirm a diagnosis.
If you have sleep apnea (or suspect you do), speak to a doctor… preferably someone who specializes in naturopathic or integrative medicine… about having your hormone levels checked.
Correcting hormonal imbalances could help with many health concerns you face as you age, including joint pain. And studies show it may help with sleep apnea, too.
In the ladies, those same post-menopausal hormone changes can make it easy to gain weight and a battle to lose it. And since weight gain is also the single biggest risk factor for sleep apnea, losing a few pounds could help men and women alike.
A ketogenic style diet or a Mediterranean diet are both good ways to shed a little weight. It will lead to better sleep, a lower risk of apnea, and less joint pain in those aching knees, too.
And finally, try some tongue exercises. Seriously.
These quick and easy movements can help stop your tongue from blocking your airways at night. Learn how to do them right here.
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