How Fibromyalgia Complicates Sleep
Like many chronic pain conditions, fibromyalgia causes everything from trouble falling asleep and difficulty staying asleep to outright insomnia. Even if you manage to sleep through the night, your fibromyalgia might cause you to wake periodically, whether you remember or not. That means mornings and afternoons are often laced with fatigue and an ever-present fog. With a few behavior changes and some ongoing monitoring, however, you can take strides to improve your sleep quality.
Keep a Sleep Diary
Start your journey by keeping a sleep diary. Every evening, make a note of your activity levels, food consumption, and any other factors in the two or three hours before you go to bed. When you wake in the morning, make a note of any times you awoke overnight. Every week or so, review your sleep diary and identify patterns that led to good sleep or triggers that contributed to poor sleep. It may turn out that the factors aggravating your fibromyalgia are not what you think.
Get Only as Much Sleep as You Need
If fibromyalgia leaves you feeling constantly fatigued, you might be tempted to sleep as long as possible each night. In reality, though, you only need a finite amount of sleep, typically seven to nine hours. Keep track of how much sleep you generally need in order to feel refreshed and awake in the morning. Once you’ve settled on an amount, do your best to stick to it each night.
Stick to a Regular Schedule
Constant fatigue might also prompt you to sneak in a midday nap whenever you can. Even if you feel tired during the day, though, keep in mind that catching a few hours of sleep here and there will only make sleeping through the night harder. To get better sleep quality overall, say no to naps and stick to a regular nighttime sleep schedule.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Fibromyalgia affects everyone in different ways, so knowing what relaxes you is key. If you find meditation or yoga to be a peaceful way to close out the day, fit some in before bedtime. If you need a warm bath or a gentle massage in order to help the pain melt away, make time for it.
Even the most luxurious bed can be a source of pain for fibromyalgia sufferers, so pay close attention to how your sleeping situation affects you. If the sheets or the comforters aren’t keeping you comfortable all night long, consider replacing them with something that meets your needs. Similarly, if the mattresses or pillows don’t offer appropriate support, it’s time for a change. When it comes to comfortable sleep, a supportive mattress or a set of soft sheets can make all the difference.
While fibromyalgia flare-ups can happen what seems like anytime, many sufferers can alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms with better sleep. Try these techniques, track how your body responds, and make adjustments along the way to achieve more restful sleep.