Sleeping like a baby could knock out your joint pain for good

If you're suffering with joint pain, stop looking for a new drug... and start shopping for a new pillow instead.

There's nothing better for your body than a full night of sleep, and studies have shown time and again that more rest equals less pain, even for folks battling chronic pain.

But one new study goes a step further, showing the deep connection between sleep and the pain of osteoarthritis, or the "wear and tear" form of the disease that strikes as we get older.

The study in The Journal of Pain finds that better sleep doesn't necessarily change what's going on in your joints (although it certainly can help stimulate healing).

It changes how your body processes that pain.

Sleep well, and you might not even notice your barking joints on some days.

But if you're tossing and turning... counting so many sheep that you keep losing track... or constantly waking up, you'll not only be tired and cranky by morning. You'll also be like an old car with bad shocks: Feeling every little jolt, all day long, until you're ready to beg for mercy.

The new research echoes a study I shared with you earlier this summer, which found poor sleep and poor attitude can each amplify pain.

Of course, there's a bit of a vicious cycle here, too. If you go to bed with achy knees, you're going to have a heck of a time getting the quality rest you need.

That's why it's so important look at the big picture -- the holistic approach so many doctors ignore -- and concentrate not just on pain, or sleep, but how they relate to each other.

First, give your joints what they really need to reverse arthritis damage: collagen, especially a form called UC-II, which is more effective for osteoarthritis patients than glucosamine and chondroitin.

And second, ease yourself into sleep with a cup of herbal tea before bed, such as chamomile or passionflower.

Over time, you'll find this one-two punch will knock out even stubborn knee pain during the day and have you sleeping like a baby at night.