Few people are more aware of the importance of sleep than those with fibromyalgia. Even without clinical studies to verify that the lack of non-REM sleep (the stage during which muscles relax) is directly related to total body pain, we all know that if we don’t sleep, we hurt. Sleep difficulties are so closely related to fibromyalgia that it was once considered to be a sleep disorder. For many patients, diagnosis and treatment of their particular disorder go a long way toward relieving their suffering. I wasn't quite so lucky. My husband reported that my snoring was becoming problematic for him, so I went to see a neurologist. Two sleep studies confirmed that I had sleep apnea, and a CPAP device was prescribed. Sadly, I awoke with a painful, swollen face after the first night of wearing it. My unusually narrow nasal passages couldn't handle all the air pressure from the machine. As a result, the air invaded my sinuses, producing this painful situation. However, for others I know, this device greatly improved their health and their marriages. It's an option to consider — whether or not you have a bed partner. Without the benefit of this treatment, I sought alternatives to improve my sleep, namely, meditation, exercise, and vitamin D. I have discussed in previous columns the forms of meditation that have been helpful for me. If mindfulness meditation with a focus on breathing seems impossible, try meditation using words or a chant. For spiritual thinkers, Isha Kriya meditation is another possibility. When done at bedtime, it has improved my ability to relax and helped me to fall asleep more easily. It's too soon to say whether this practice will have any long-term effect on my pain levels, but it's certainly worth the recommended 48-day commitment.