Getting restful sleep is not always as easy for some people as it is for others.
Chronic health problems are a significant concern for those who struggle with sleeping through the night. People who have certain diseases or chronic conditions will find it difficult to sleep. They may need to make certain modifications to get the necessary rest.
One such chronic condition is fibromyalgia.
This disorder is prevalent but somewhat of a mystery problem. X-rays and blood work all show that everything is "fine," yet the person afflicted with this problem suffers a great deal of pain as well as other symptoms. The pain is widespread—18 pain points exist on both sides of the body in nine pairs. These pain points are tender to the touch. The person also experiences dull aching in these areas.
This aching pain can occur at one or more of the points at a time and moves from one place to another with no real pattern or reason. Medical professionals determined the central nervous system misfires and send pain signals when there is no physical cause for it. That is not to say the pain is not real. Just ask people who have the disorder, and they will tell you the condition can be debilitating.
People with fibromyalgia also have other symptoms such as fatigue, IBS, memory fog, and sleep disorders. The sleeping problems are two-fold:
- For one thing, people with fibromyalgia often have accompanying sleep problems such as restless leg syndrome, depression, and sleep apnea.
- The other factor affecting their sleep is the pain itself. If you have fibromyalgia, then getting a good night's sleep may seem elusive. However, rest is essential, so the pain doesn't worsen over time.
What can you do to get better quality sleep? Here are some sleep tips to try:
Try to do small amounts of physical activity. It may seem that you won't be able to because of the pain, but exercise can help. If you can walk a little bit every day, you may see some improvement. Exercise releases hormones in the brain that elevate the mood relieve depression, and help with pain conditions such as these.
2. Soak in Hot Baths
Take a hot bath before bed. The warm water provides moist heat that is soothing and therapeutic. If you have any essential oils, you can put those in the bath water to help relax you. Lavender oil is a favorite essential oil for relaxation.
3. Find the Right Mattress
Find the best mattress fit for you. You will want to have a top quality mattress, so you don't aggravate your condition.
Sometimes the pain from fibromyalgia makes it difficult to even turn over in the night, especially if you are a side sleeper and the pain is affecting your arms at that particular time. Remember when you turn over in bed you will use your upper body (arms and shoulders) to reposition yourself to the other side. So, you don't want a mattress that is so soft you sink in too far. The softness makes it more difficult to turn over.
On the other hand, if it is too firm it may make your body ache more. You will need to have just the right balance of support and softness to cradle your body.
4. Try More Pillows
Use pillows for support and comfort. They're a great addition to your bed collection. If you are a back sleeper, you can use a pad under your knees for back support. The pillow alleviates any added strain on the back, making it feel somewhat better. If you are a side sleeper, you may want to consider putting your bed against a wall. Then you can place a long pillow against the wall and lean your back up to it. The back support will provide cushioning for your body.
5. Find Relief with Heat
Sleep with a heating pad. A heating pad can work wonders for aching pain. It tends to numb the pain of fibromyalgia because the heat overrides the pain sensation. Of course, if you have pain in a couple of different places at once, it can be challenging. Also, some areas may be more challenging to reach than others. For example, if your upper arm is aching, it may be challenging to get the heat around your arm adequately if you are using a standard heating pad.
However, you can purchase hot/cold packs that have Velcro to wrap around a body part. These warm up in the microwave and they don't hold the heat as long as an electric heating pad, but they will work in a pinch.
You can also get air-activated stick-on heat pads that are quite flexible. These adhere to your body with a sticky adhesive and work very well. They keep the heat for up to eight hours, too.
6. Take Pain Medication
Of course, you can always take pain medication for your pain if that helps. If you have problems with your stomach, you won't want to take NSAIDs because these will irritate your stomach over time. NSAIDs are generally for inflammation, and since people with fibromyalgia don't have swelling, they won't need this type of medication.
Many people find Tylenol works just as well and it won't hurt your stomach. You will need to check with your physician about the dosage amount because too high of a dose over time can damage the liver.
Stay in Touch for More Sleep Tips
These tips can help alleviate some of the problems associated with fibromyalgia. With more sleep, you'll be up for tackling each day ahead. Better rest, in turn, will make you more relaxed, less stressed, and happier. Sometimes fibromyalgia goes into remission for some time or can even go into remission for good.At Nest Bedding, we are here to support your sleep needs. Get in touch today for more information.