How to Get Better Sleep with Fibromyalgia
Although sleeplessness is almost a universal experience in modern society, it is especially rampant among certain groups of people, such as those with health problems or chronic pain. This goes double for fibromyalgia sufferers!
Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal disorder endured by roughly 4 million people in the U.S.
The condition causes chronic pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints. Other symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, skin sensitivity, numbness - and lack of sleep.People afflicted with the disorder may go for years undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, and women are twice as likely to have fibromyalgia as men.
How does fibromyalgia affect slumber?
People with fibromyalgia have a hard time falling - and staying - asleep. There are several causes that contribute to these effects. First, the condition's underlying symptoms of pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints is an obvious disruptor of sleep.
Sleep Disorders Associated with Fibromyalgia
Insomnia is common in people living with fibromyalgia. One explanation is that the normal order of brain waves gets disturbed. Regular deep-sleep patterns become interrupted by brain waves that signal wakefulness, disrupting your sleep.
Another commonly reported sleep disorder is Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). This condition is ten times more prevalent in people with fibromyalgia. RLS negatively impacts sleep and makes one feel drowsy during the day.
The pain medication prescribed for fibromyalgia can also be a culprit in keeping sufferers up at night, with side effects that negatively impact sleep quality.
Getting Better Sleep for People with Fibromyalgia
There is no known cure for fibromyalgia, so managing its symptoms is still the best remedy. Improving sleep quality can provide a significant improvement in chronic pain and fatigue - and that, in turn, helps people with fibromyalgia get more consistent, restorative sleep.
Here are six easy, effective ways to help ensure a good night's rest, even with fibromyalgia symptoms:
Wind down with routines that help ease discomfort.
Warm baths, leg massages, and alternating warm and cold packs can help ease symptoms. Infusing essential oils can also promote deep breathing and relax your mind, body and soul.
Set a sleep schedule.
A key component of healthy sleep hygiene is going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
Commit to a workout regimen to promote better rest at night and reduce pain in general.
Practice mindfulness and meditation.
This emphasizes the importance of being present in the moment, which can help you be more mindful as you go about your day and cope with difficult situations.
Take Vitamin D supplements
People with fibromyalgia often exhibit below-average Vitamin D levels. Supplements can help reduce the widespread pain of fibromyalgia, thereby improving sleep.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
A brain is a powerful tool for wellness. This technique teaches you to change your thought patterns for the better. CBT improves focus and thinking abilities and reduces anxiety. Many people worry that they won't be able to sleep because of their pain, which makes the pain worse, so it's harder to sleep.
Aside from these solid steps, try to avoid the following, which can mess with your nighttime sleep:Daytime naps; stimulants like coffee, tea and alcohol in the evening; any liquids a few hours before bed (so you won't have to get up to go to the bathroom); electronic gadgets in the hour before lights out.
We believe everyone deserves their best sleep!
Prioritize your own sleep - it all starts with education. Check out our recent blog posts to know more about sleep issues:
- 5 Random Things You Didn't Know About Sleep
- How Sleep and Heart Health Affect Each Other
- Your Mattress: The Hidden Culprit Behind Your Back Pain
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