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IRD IA – Get a better night’s sleep

Evidence summary (Updated 2022)

Sleep disturbance and fatigue are commonly reported symptoms in those with inflammatory arthritis. Exercise interventions traditionally was shown to improve sleep quality in RA; however, this has not been further confirmed in more robust clinical trials (1). Extrapolating findings from general population studies, there is low to moderate level evidence that regular physically activity improves sleep (2-3). We are therefore unable to make further stronger recommendations specific to RA.
Quality of evidence:
Grade B – Low to Moderate Quality

Strength of recommendation
Grade 2 – Weak Recommendation

Sleep disturbance is common and there is low to moderate strength evidence that physical activity and exercise intervention improve sleep quality.


  1. Durcan L, Wilson F, Cunnane G. The effect of exercise on sleep and fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized controlled study. J Rheumatol. 2014;41(10):1966-1973.
  2. Department of Health & Social Care. UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines: 2019.
  3. Kredlow MA, Capozzoli MC, Hearon BA, Calkins AW, Otto MW. The effects of physical activity on sleep: a meta-analytic review. J Behav Med. 2015;38(3):427-449.