Tips for Sleeping Better with Fibromyalgia
One of the most common complaints in Fibromyalgia patients is the inability to get restorative sleep due to the constant pain. Sleep deprivation can lead to a multitude of problems because it decreases the functionality of the body, including chemical releases such as serotonin, which highly affects pain sensitivity. The happy news here, though, is that getting your sleep under control will improve your symptoms of fibromyalgia. With improved sleep, patients have less fatigue and higher energy levels so they can better focus on other treatments like diet, exercise, and medication management.
10 Tips for Sleeping Better with Fibromyalgia
- First and foremost, prioritize your sleep schedule. Try to sleep during “regular” hours overnight so as not to have too much effect on the body’s biological functioning. Set the schedule for the same wake-up time every single day, including weekends. This helps regulate proper sleep cycles and patterns.
- Ask your doctor about a prescription sleep aid, or for a recommendation of an over-the-counter medicine that he/she thinks would best suit your personal health and conditions.
- Sleep hours should not exceed 8-10 hours each night. Excessive sleep could add fatigue and throw the chemicals that help your body function properly out of balance.
- Every morning, write into a designated sleep diary about how well you slept, if you woke up in the middle of the night, what you did to go back to sleep, and how many hours you got. This helps you track your sleeping patterns and be better aware of your condition.
- Meditate, get a massage or do very gentle stress-relieving yoga before bed. Relaxation and light stretching of your muscles can help eliminate pain and reduce a common fibromyalgia symptom known as restless leg syndrome.
- Exercise every day in a way that helps stretch and alleviate tightness in the muscles and joints. Yoga, Tai Chi, or Qigong are excellent options for fibromyalgia patients. Avoid excessive exercising three hours before bed, however. Save the meditation and light yoga stretches for before bedtime.
- Soundproof your room and make sure it stays dark and quiet. Most fibromyalgia patients are very light sleepers as it is, so avoid bright lights and loud noises.
- Do not take naps during the daytime. This is good advice for all people, but especially if you have fibromyalgia because your sleep is already suffering from pattern difficulties. Midday napping will only complicate it.
- Avoid caffeine six hours before bed and eat a very light, good carb snack about 30 minutes to an hour before bed. Hunger disrupts sleep and aggravates muscles. Give them something to do with a food like low fat/low sugar rice pudding.
- Finally, you already know about changing diet and lifestyle habits to help you with your symptoms, but did you know mentality plays the biggest role? Think positive thoughts, know you’re going to be okay, and look for solutions rather than focus on the problem at hand.
Fibromyalgia can take over your life if you allow it. Sleep deprivation exacerbates every single debilitating symptom associated with this condition, so be sure to do everything you can to fix sleeping patterns and get more restful sleep so you can focus more and reduce daytime fatigue.
Do you have any tips? Leave them in the comments section below.