Sleep research proves that insomnia is a problem for people with arthritis

VANCOUVER, BC, November 24, 2022 /CNW/ – Arthritis Research Canada saw record attendance for its recent arthritis and insomnia webinar, which revealed that sleep deprivation is a major issue for people living with rheumatic diseases.

More than 600 people registered to hear from Arthritis Research Canada Research Scientist and Psychologist, Dr. Deborah Da Costain a webinar about her research into an online cognitive behavioral therapy program for insomnia that her team is adapting for people with arthritis.

At least 70% of people with arthritis experience insomnia, meaning they have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up early.

“Lack of sleep is more than being tired when you have arthritis,” Da Costa said. “It can exacerbate pain and fatigue and even amplify psychological problems.”

She added that a person can be treated for depression, but not insomnia, and in those cases, depression often recurs.

Yet few people with arthritis and sleep problems seek treatment for their insomnia. Those who do are prescribed sleeping pills, which are not meant to be taken long term.

Instead, sleep experts recommend using cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) as the first course of treatment for sleep problems. This includes learning new strategies and behaviors to promote sleep rather than relying on medications.

However, CBTi is not widely available Canada. Da Costa is trying to change this by customizing and testing a CBTi program for people with arthritis that is offered online.

The webinar was part of Episode 9 of Arthritis Research Canada’s Arthritis Research Education Series, an initiative created to bring the impact of arthritis research to the general public.

Click here to watch the arthritis and insomnia webinar.

Click here to watch episode 9 of the Arthritis Research Education Series: HELP! I can not sleep. | Arthritis and insomnia.

Click here to view other episodes of the Arthritis Research Education Series.


Arthritis Research Canada is Canada’s largest clinical arthritis research facility North America. Our mission is to transform the lives of people with arthritis through research and engagement. The scientific director of Arthritis Research Canada, Dr. Diane Lacaille leads a team of more than 100 researchers, interns and collaborators whose life-changing research is creating a future where people with arthritis have the knowledge and tools to overcome pain and disability. Arthritis Research Canada is now conducting arthritis research from coast to coast with centers in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebecand Nova Scotia and scientists affiliated with six major universities: University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of CalgaryUniversity Laval, McGill Universityand Dalhousie University. Arthritis Research Canada conducts research aimed at preventing arthritis, facilitating early diagnosis, finding new and better treatments and improving quality of life.

SOURCE Arthritis Research Canada


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Sleep research proves that insomnia is a problem for people with arthritis

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