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Sleep and ankylosing spondylitis (AS)

If you have ankylosing spondylitis (AS) you may experience tiredness and night pain. These are often a result of inflammation, but may also be caused by anaemia  or by lack of a good night's sleep. 

A medium–firm bed will be more comfortable than one that’s too soft, although the mattress should have some give in it so that it moulds to the shape of your spine. Even if your AS isn’t in a particularly painful, active phase, it’s important to make sure your mattress provides enough support to prevent your spine from curving. When you lie on your side your spine should be straight, and when you're on your back it should keep its natural 'S-curve'. Try to use as few pillows as possible so that your neck stays in a good position. 

If pain is a problem at night, heat may help. Try a hot bath before going to bed, a hot-water bottle, wheat bag (which you can heat in a microwave) or electric blanket. A hot bath or shower also helps to ease morning stiffness.

Read more about sleep and arthritis.


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