At least 70 per cent of people suffering from arthritis have serious issues getting a good sleep at night, according to Arthritis Research Canada (ARC) — the largest clinical research institution for the disease in North America.
That statistic was derived from a study conducted by psychologist Deborah Da Costa, who hosted a webinar yesterday discussing the link between arthritis and insomnia. The webinar was part of ARC’s Arthritis Research Education Series, an initiative designed to spread public awareness on the subject.
More than 600 people registered for the online seminar and it also featured research she had completed about an online cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBTI) program that Dacosta and her colleagues have been designing for people with the joint disease.
Reminder: Our webinar on #arthritis and #insomnia is today at 10 AM PT. You can still sign up to learn about the connection between arthritis and sleep and find out how #ArthritisResearch can help: https://t.co/qYMbjC5sZc pic.twitter.com/2q8ox2vnXz
— Arthritis Research Canada (@Arthritis_ARC) November 23, 2022
“Lack of sleep is about more than being tired when you have arthritis. It can worsen pain and fatigue and even amplify mental health problems,” said Da Costa.
ARC says few people who suffer from arthritis and have sleep problems ever seek treatment for their insomnia. Those who do seek help end up receiving a prescription for sleeping pills, which are not intended to be taken for long periods of time.
The organization says sleep experts advocate for the use of CBTI as an initial treatment for sleep problems, which involves learning behaviours and strategies to get better rest rather than dependence on sleeping pills or other medications.
That type of therapy is not widely available in Canada however, and Da Costa has been attempting to solve this issue by designing a CBTI program for people with the joint disease that is accessible online.
The webinar recording is available on the institution’s website.
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