Month: September 2021

RA, Nighttime and Cortisol

We all agree that mornings with RA is not easy. Stiffness, pain,  and suffering that feels like it lasts forever. I have learned to manage morning pain well.  I usually wake up about five or six to use the rest room. At that time, I take  pain medication  and I go back to sleep. When I wake up around eight,  the edge has been taken off my discomfort. I  have coffee and read the New York Times for an hour. And then I am good to go. Some of us with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) experience increased pain at night.  When I am in a flare, I have a hard time sleeping.  My body feels worn  and  ragged. Knuckles, wrists, shoulders, feet, ankles, pelvic girdle, spine. And even my elbows. Nighttime pain is different. It feels heavy. It feels overbearing. It feels endless. It just seems too much. Research has shown that people who experience nocturnal pain have an increased number of swollen, painful joints. They are sicker. For normal bodies the inflammatory system works to …