Pain and fatigue are common companions of adult osteoarthritis, but a bad night’s sleep may further compound the problems, investigators said.

Researchers measured the impact of sleep on next-day pain and tiredness in adults aged 65 and older with hip and knee OA and notable levels of fatigue. When compared to good nights of sleep, nights of poor quality sleep translated into intensified pain and fatigue that was most pronounced the next morning, wrote lead author Daniel Whibley, Ph.D., of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. The effect was not sustained throughout the day.

The findings suggest that morning may be the best time for those with OA to tackle these debilitating problems, Whibley said. “People living with OA may be counseled about the likely outcome of a poor night’s sleep on their symptoms, and this information may be used to inform the optimal timing of pharmacologic and/or non-pharmacologic interventions to reduce pain and fatigue,” he suggested. In addition, there is potential for the findings to be used in cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention for those with OA, he said.

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