Sleep problems due to pain

I'm lying here absolutely exhausted but can't sleep due to the pain in my knees. Anyone got any advise or can relate to this.


  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,764

    I can certainly relate to it as my OA only allows me 2 or 3 hours kip a night but regrettably I can offer no advice to help the situation having tried everything over the years; new moveable bed, mattresses, pillows, etc and even asking my GP who was dismissive. He said that as I was unable to work it didn't matter if I nodded off during the day. So now I have given up.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,763
    edited 2. Jul 2020, 06:16


    Nothing worse than functioning on hardly any sleep it makes everything worse. As does being awake when the rest of the world is Zzzzing🙄

    I might have some suggestions, but no guarantees of course....

    Firstly you need to do your best to get those knees comfy....cushions pillows and the like strategically placed can make a lot of difference.

    Secondly take pain meds before you go to bed if you can so you can at least 'get off' ok.

    Thirdly if all else fails get your meds reviewed. Some of us on here take Amitriptyline n the evening (or other similar meds) to help muscles relax over night - they have the extra benefit of making us drowsy.... If it's pain waking you some painkillers are available in slow release format. My anti inflam, for example,is Arcoxia a 24 hour tablet which in theory prevents pain breaking through and waking me up.

    Best of luck


    Toni xxx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558

    I think it was July 2006 that I last slept through the night with some quality to the sleep. I do everything Frog suggests plus read my Kindle or bore myself back to dozing with an alphabet list (last night's was two syllable words of five letters with no repeated letters). I also have the pleasure of listening to a soundly sleeping Spouse, unknowingly rubbing grade A salt into the wound. I have been prescribed Amytryp despite saying I wasn't interested, I don't take it. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stoddy
    stoddy Member Posts: 6


    I was having the same problem as I have OA in both my wrists , knees and ankles, I agree with the previous comments regarding pain relief before bedtime, I recently bought a v shaped orthopaedic pillow to put in between my knees for support and comfort, it helped me a lot , they are a bit big but does the job , my hubby might disagree, he's says I now take up all the room in the bed when I use it lol.

    DODGYKNEES Member Posts: 41
    Thanx for the comments and advice guys. I'l definitely give the pillows a try. 👍
  • Tanya
    Tanya Member Posts: 17


    I am sure most of us sufferers can relate to this. Sleep depravation unfortunately is a key symtom of living with arthritis. 😕 Pain medication can provide some relief but in my experience, never takes the pain away enough to get comfortable to sleep properly. I try a pillow between my knees too, gives some relief but only mild. I use a combination of Amytrip, Naproxen and Co-Codamol to try and manage pain. Some nights are better than others...hope you do find something that will ease the pain for you. ☺️

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,318

    I agree with the others, dose yourself up before you go to bed (I use amitryp, cocodamol and naproxen) , work out a system of pillows and cushions that supports your body in such a way that the tender joints aren’t being overstretched, and “bore yourself to sleep” with an unstimulating book or some dull thought-blocking mental exercises. Nothing is a total solution to the problems caused by arthritis, but this can help a bit and certainly makes a difference for me. If the irritation of a soundly (or noisily!) sleeping spouse is too much to bear, there’s always the spare room, where you can fidget around to your heart’s delight until you can get as comfortable as possible, and my hubby has admitted that he gets a better night’s sleep too that way,

  • I can definitely relate to this! I take ibuprofen before bed as naproxen gave me headaches so that didn’t help. And take paracetamol when I wake during the night (usually 2-3 hours later). I also take ice packs to bed as I find that soothes my hands.

  • Sharon_K
    Sharon_K Administrator Posts: 322


    I can relate to this too, I listen to books to help me get off to sleep and as others have mentioned I have a pillow between my knees to relieve the pain as well. I also occasionally have a night cap as I don't take medication to go to bed with. I don't sleep all night but I make sure I am in a dark room and quiet. Oh and I have hot water bottles!!

    Good luck


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,763

    I do the audiobook via headphones too so as not to disturb husband ....👍️


    Toni xxx
  • Biyadhoo
    Biyadhoo Member Posts: 4

    This is all good advice. The only thing can add, I’ve started listening to relaxing stuff on my phone, waves, white noise, a gentle storm, “go to sleep” music. There are lots on YouTube, the only down side you have to keep the phone “active” you can’t run it in the background the way you can listen to the radi o or a talking book, I put it under my pillow so I’m not disturbed by the light. My earphones use the same socket as the charger, normally I’d charge my phone at night, instead, with the headphones plugged in and noise playing, the phone battery is draining & I’m charging when I get up. I select what I want to listen to and leave it all ready to reach for later as I get off to sleep ok, it’s once I wake after a few hrs I struggle to get back. Hope this make sense!

  • Crowtoad
    Crowtoad Member Posts: 7

    My husband fills me 2 hot water bottles every night so I manage to get off to sleep with those. I usually wake up at least 3 or 4 times with an ache in my left knee but it is not too bad if I lie on my right side. Lying on my back is no good for me. I put Fenbid gel on my knee before bedtime plus I take a dose of paracetomol. After 13 months of pain in my knee I have only just recently been having pain during the night, so it looks like it has worsened.

  • Alcohol helps, but obviously not on regular basis as its not good for your health, but as a quick fix for the odd night it helps me, and its enjoyable at the same time, but not the headache in the morning.

  • Polyanna
    Polyanna Member Posts: 3

    A mega prob.for me too. I pull my nightie to try to turn over in the night. I've recently found sleeping on my back helps me to drop over with ear buds in listening to pzizz app...set for overnight. I have a Fitbit watch & it records all the times I am awake...& now I've found my Oxygen levels not good during the night!

    I've also started wakening with v.bad backpain so if I decide to get up (bored) & go to the loo...Ive had to put a frame type thing to lean on when I first get out if bed...the pain is dreadful...however a physio told me to straighten & bend knees several times before getting out of bed& it certainly helps!!

    I'm not able to take any painkillers cos of a dodgy ulcerates when I take them.

  • EmmaHarry
    EmmaHarry Member Posts: 2

    Hi Dodgyknees, I swear by amitriptyline which make you drowsy to be taken 2 hours before sleep and read a boring book and the arthritis has to be supported.

    I also take Codeine this helps when really bad. Hope it gets better, Emma.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,763

    I have amitrip on my prescription too...I take it no later than 7pm or am not worth much the next day it takes hours to work. I remember the 1st time I took it at my then bedtime of 11...waited....nothing. Fell asleep didn't come around until 2pm the next day😁@EmmaHarry

    I also have pain patches (7 day ones) and my anti-inflam is a 24 hour tablet@Polyanna sleeping on my back hurts my back so could be relevant to your new back pain? Can you try pain patches? avoids the stomach?????

    Alcohol gets me off all right @bonniedog1 but find I am awake in the small hours no chance of getting back off 😕 so save it for special occasions now 🙄😕


    Toni xxx
  • Mistyblue
    Mistyblue Member Posts: 6

    I take mainly paracetamol, have one co co-codamal before bed which helps before bed I use a heated electric fleece blanket.

  • Hither
    Hither Member Posts: 3

    The best thing I've found to date is to buy very high quality sheets, that are 'slippy' - ie have a high thread count. Recently bought a 200 threadcount duvet cover from John Lewis that is both slippy and snug. If you have to lift yourself up to move position, it hurts more than a glide, in my experience.

    DODGYKNEES Member Posts: 41

    @EmmaHarry Thanx emma. I'l look into amitriptyline