Fibromyalgia takes so much from us, including sleep. Being unable to get a good sleep can contribute to fibromyalgia symptoms, which is why it is important we take steps to ensure we sleep better.
Ways we can get better sleep
1. Exercise: Exercising in the morning helps set your body rhythm for the next 24 hours, including letting you get better sleep. It doesn’t need to be strenuous. Even gentle walking will do.
2. Lavender: The scent of lavender can help you feel relaxed, which can make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. You can choose from various lavender-scented products before bed, including oils.
3. Meditation: Slowing your breathing with deep breaths, meditation or prayer will go a long way toward relaxing you enough to get to sleep. I always liked reading Psalm 4:8. Spend at least 20-30 minutes in quiet meditation.
4. Hot bath: If you are able to get in and out of a bathtub safely, try a warm or hot bath with Epsom salts and lavender oil. It can not only help you relax but also alleviate some of the pain that keeps FM peeps awake at night.
5. No screens: Don’t use your smartphone or tablet, or watch TV an hour or so before going to bed. They send a message to your brain that it’s time to be awake. Read a real book, do a puzzle, or play solitaire instead.
6. Sleep medication: If you think a sleep medication would help you, discuss it with your medical professional. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
7. Regular wake-up time: It’s more important for you to wake at the same time each morning than for you to go to bed at the same time each night. It’s another piece in the puzzle of regulating your circadian — or body — rhythm. Set a quiet alarm and try not to hit the snooze button.
8. Take a nap: Taking an afternoon nap is beneficial, with a 20-minute snooze being optimal. Think of it as a personal siesta. If you have little ones who nap in the afternoon, snooze at the same time.
Sleep hygiene is also important for those of us battling fibromyalgia. Perhaps combining two or more of the above ideas will help you get better sleep. I know, of course, that with our condition, even if we get amazing sleep, we’re likely to wake up feeling unrefreshed. But a good sleep can make us feel less unrefreshed.
If you have ideas that work for you, please share them with the rest of us.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.