Sleep and fibromyalgia don’t go well together. Sleep disturbances are very common for sufferers of the condition. While they may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is likely to be light and easily disturbed so, when they wake up, they feel exhausted or unrested. These sleep disturbances can cause the feeling of constant fatigue and prevent the body from rejuvenation, which in turn leads to increased pain.
The severe pain of this condition also means that it is difficult to sleep. Research shows that the body has a lower tolerance to pain and discomfort with lack of sleep. Fibromyalgia patients must make every effort to minimise sleep disturbance.
Tips for creating a regular sleep routine:
- Set fixed times for going to bed and waking up
- Maintain a relaxing bedtime routine
- Only go to bed when you feel tired
- Create a comfortable sleep environment
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
- Avoid eating heavy meals late at night
How to create the best sleeping environment:
- Use thick blinds/blackout blinds or wear an eye mask to keep out early morning light or street lamps
- Maintain a comfortable temperature in your bedroom
- Use earplugs if there is any noise disturbance
- Avoid using laptops, watching television, eating, making phone calls or working while you’re in bed
- Make sure you have a comfortable mattress, pillow and bedding suitable for the time of year
- Invest in a weighted blanket. Many fibromyalgia patients have found relief through myofascial release, a therapy that involves gentle pressure over trigger-points, tender point sides, and even the whole body. Weighted blankets can recreate this steady pressure, so may provide easy pain relief for those suffering from fibromyalgia.