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Jessica’s Coping with Lupus Corner

Lupus and Sleep Problems

Jessica Rowshandel, M.S.W.
Jessica, Rowshandel, M.S.W.
Director of Social Services
S.L.E. Lupus Foundation

As we all know, sleep is important to our emotional and physical health. It’s a time to re-boot, refreshing our minds and our bodies to wake up fresh to a new day. But for many people with lupus, a good night’s sleep can be elusive.

A new study published in the Journal of Rheumatology showed that people with lupus have more sleep problems than people in the general population, and anxiety and depression seem related to these sleep disturbances. Fatigue is a major lupus symptom, and not sleeping well only adds to a feeling of fatigue and lethargy. Anxiety and depression are common experiences for people with chronic illness, and it is often difficult to distinguish whether the depression is caused by lupus, if the anxiety is caused by a medication side-effect, or if these emotional experiences are a result of having to cope with having lupus. Regardless, it is a good idea to tell your rheumatologist if you are not getting enough sleep, and also if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Keeping a sleep diary to track your sleep patterns can be helpful. Perhaps you will notice a relationship with certain factors in your life and the nights that you have sleeping difficulties. For example, maybe every time you had to deal with a challenging person in your life you did not sleep well the night before or after. Or perhaps you notice that since taking a certain medication you have more trouble sleeping.  If you use a smart phone, you can even try a sleep diary app. 

Visit our website for other simple suggestions, print brochures, catch up on our past webinars to learn more about lupus and share the information on your social media pages.

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Disclaimer: This website and its contents are designed for educational purposes only. Jessica Rowshandel, MSW is the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation’s Director of Social Services. She is not a physician. The advice provided is for educational and informational purposes and the Foundation does not recommend or endorse any particular treatment or therapy. The information provided here should not be used for the purposes of diagnosing or treating a medical or psychiatric illness. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional care. Lupus is a very individualized illness; consult a healthcare professional before making any decisions about your care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider. Telephone calls, emails, and online content do not constitute counseling services in any way. The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation does not provide any medical or psychological services to its patients and users. For an accurate medical or mental health evaluation, participants should seek an evaluation from a qualified healthcare professional. S.L.E. Lupus Foundation employees, consultants, and agents shall not be liable for any claims or damages, and expressly disclaim all liability of any nature for any action or non-action taken as a result of the information generated by the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation programs and its website, as well as the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation Facebook and Twitter pages.