11 Tips for Better Sleep With Fibromyalgia
1. Crossing Out Sleep Disorders
The first thing you can do on the path to better sleep is to cross out and address any sleeping disorders that could be behind your difficulties snoozing. Disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, or bruxism, are all symptoms of fibromyalgia and may be causing your never-ending fatigue.
If you think you may have a sleep disorder, consider talking to your doctor or taking part in a sleep study, suggests About.com Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue blogger Adrienne Dellwo.
2. Create a Sleep-Friendly Bedroom
One thing you can do to help yourself get to sleep is make your bedroom sleep-friendly. Limiting any sources of noise and light in your room can do wonders. For example, make your alarm clock face away, or banish your TV from the foot of your bed. Using an eye mask can also help with enhancing the darkness of the room, WebMD advises.
Finding the just the right bedding can also be key to getting a good nights rest. Nowadays, pillows and mattresses are made to fit the way you sleep. Memory foam or the Sleep Number bed may be options to try, suggests Dellwo.
Another way to prepare your bedroom for rest is to keep the room temperature at a comfortable level. If you find yourself sweating at night or curling up from the cold, simply changing the thermostat or getting a fan or heater will do the trick!
3. Leave the Bedroom
When youre tossing and turning in your bed whether from stress or pain, its best to just leave the room.
Dont lie in bed, worrying and stressing. Get up, go to the other room, Dr. Mary Rose, a clinical psychologist and behavioral sleep specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, tells WebMD. Then, go back to the bedroom when you feel more tired and relaxed.
4. Take a Bath
Take a warm bath in the evening. Pamper yourself and soothe your muscles by brushing your body with a loofah or long-handled brush. This relaxing activity can also lull you into the mood for getting some sleep.
6. Maintain a Schedule
Maintaining a regular schedule can help regulate your body and encourage sleep at night when the time comes.
One key point to keep in mind is to not take any naps that can throw off your sleeping schedule. "A lot of patients have circadian rhythm problems. Napping can throw you off. Any sleep during the daytime will be taken from your sleep at night, says Rose.
Another thing to keep in mind is to not outpace yourself while tackling daily activities. By the time night falls, your extra energy is gone and youll feel completely drained. Taking things in moderation is key, reminds WebMD.
8. Relaxing Activities Before Bed
Taking part in relaxing activities before going to bed will get you into the mindset for sleep. Try meditating, listening to calm music, or reading a book to propel you towards a state of tranquility.
9. Antidepressants or Other Pain Medications
If you arent already using them, antidepressants or other medications can do a lot to help manage your fibromyalgia pain during the day and night, says Dellwo. Consider talking to your doctor about Lyrica, Cymbalta, or Savella, drugs which have all been approved by the FDA to treat fibro.
Caution: Do not take sleeping pills. They are only a temporary solution, and are not meant to help with chronic long-term use, advises Rose.
10. Changing Your Sleep Attitude
Sometimes, just having a positive attitude can do a world of difference, and in this case, an attitude shift towards sleep may be in order. Changing your associations concerning sleep from negative to positive can be difficult, especially if your only experiences with them have been bad.
If youre really itching to change your views on sleep, Dellwo says, cognitive behavioral therapy is an option.
11. Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes may also be essential to getting better sleep. Obvious changes would be to avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and smoking. Less obvious choices include doing more volunteer work, picking up new hobbies, and building a social support network.
"Anything you do to make your quality of life better -- to give you more happiness -- you can't lose," Rose told WebMD. "Do what brings you happiness, and chances are it will help you refocus, get your focus away from the pain."