Lupus and Sleep Disorders
For those with lupus, like me, a good night of sleep is among the most important activities to engage in staying healthy and avoiding symptoms of the disease like fatigue and cognitive dysfunction.
Unfortunately, 61 percent of those with lupus claim that they do not feel refreshed after a night of sleep. Typically, those with lupus have sleep problems that may include any or all of the following:
Poor sleep quality
Sleep for too short of a duration
Problems falling asleep
Inability to stay asleep
Another element of sleep disorder Dr. Harrison identifies is what she calls “sleep phobia”:
“Lupus patients tend to lay awake and are concerned about not sleeping, but what happens when you’re thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’m not falling asleep, and I have so much to do tomorrow?'” says Dr. Harrison. “The more anxious you get, the less likely that you’ll be able to fall asleep or sleep well when you do fall asleep.”
As stated earlier, the lack of sleep can lead to fatigue and can cause great anxiety. Still, it can also lead to feelings of depression, which can worsen the symptoms of cognitive dysfunction and make sleep more difficult, creating yet another “chicken and egg” scenario where one condition furthers the other in a reciprocal motion.
It is vital to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, and exercise. Keeping to these standards may not prevent all the disease symptoms. Still, it will keep one’s body healthy and well prepared to deal with whatever lupus-related conditions may arise in the long run.