Studies have shown that sleep quality affects fibromyalgia symptoms. If a person can get better sleep with fibromyalgia, their symptoms will be less severe. But sleep doesn’t come easy to people with fibromyalgia. Studies show that up to 75% of fibromyalgia sufferers complain of sleep disturbances.
Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia will often give you more questions than answers. Fibromyalgia looks different for everyone who has it. No two people will have the exact same symptoms. The cause of fibromyalgia is not clear either.
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When a person has fibromyalgia, there can be times that you don’t feel all that bad. The pain is minimal and you’re getting enough rest. You’re managing the day to day stress pretty well.
At other times, the pain increases, you have trouble sleeping, and your stress levels shoot through the roof. This increase in symptoms is known as a fibromyalgia flare.
During a flare, many fibromyalgia sufferers have a hard time functioning. Their pain has increased considerably and brain fog has kicked in.
In this post, I will share with you three key ways to get better sleep with fibromyalga.
Get Better Sleep With a Consistent Bedtime Routine
Sleep is SO critical for everyone, especially a fibromyalgia patient. Getting rest helps your body rebuild and recharge for the next day.
But many people, especially those with fibromyalgia, struggle to sleep. Joint and muscle pain can make it difficult to get restful sleep. When you get less sleep, you don’t feel well, and the pain increases. Because of the increased pain, you have trouble sleeping… Do you see how this cycle can continue to repeat?
Setting up a consistent bedtime routine can help a person get better sleep with fibromyalgia. Here are some tips to develop a more consistent bedtime routine.
Have a Consistent Bedtime
One great way to get better sleep with fibromyalgia is by setting a consistent bedtime. Setting a consistent time to go to bed helps your body get into a routine. This routine can help anyone fall asleep faster.
A person that has fibromyalgia often struggles to fall asleep. So setting a routine bedtime can’t hurt!
Some nights I don’t feel tired, and I stay up way later than I should. Then I can’t fall asleep, and I end up paying for it the next day. My body and brain function so much better when I get enought sleep!
Go to Bed Earlier
Another way to get better sleep with fibromyalgia is to go to bed earlier.
Fibromyalgia patients know they need more sleep. They also know that they struggle to get good quality sleep. So going to bed earlier is a good way to add more sleep to your day.
Most days I try to get in bed by 9:00 p.m. That way, I’m hopefully asleep by 10:00. I would love to stay up a little later, but 10:00 turns into 11:00 really fast! So I’ve found that going to bed earlier helps me get better sleep with fibromyalgia.
Get Better Sleep With Fibromyalgia by Reducing Screen Time
Screen time will NOT help you get better sleep with fibromyalgia! The flashes of light and even the background glow can make anyone struggle with falling asleep. And it’s even worse for those with fibromyalgia.
I love to read, and usually reading a book helps me fall asleep. But, if I flip through social media instead, I don’t fall asleep very well. It’s hard to put down the phone but getting better sleep is so much more important!
Create A Good Sleep Environment
I’ve always been a light sleeper. Lights and even small noises can wake me up at any time during the night. And I’m sure fibromyalgia makes it worse. So another way I can get better sleep with fibromyalgia is by creating a good sleep environment.
Create a Comfortable Environment for Sleep
When I can’t get comfortable, sleep takes a long time to come. This is true for everyone, but people with fibromyalgia struggle so much more! Being comfortable is an awesome way to get better sleep with fibromyalgia.
There are several ways you can get more comfortable in your sleep environment. Choosing sleepwear that’s less constricting is one way to get more comfortable. I like to wear over-sized t-shirts and shorts during the spring and summer. In the winter, I wear loose pajamas that don’t make me too hot.
The type of sheets and blankets you use can also make a difference. In the winter, I tend to get cold easily. So I pile some extra blankets on my side of the bed. During warmer months, I trade out my thick comforter and extra blankets for a thinner quilt.
Having good pillows and a good mattress are important too! Several years ago we switched to a memory foam mattress and pillow. And let me tell you, they make a huge difference!
The memory foam conforms to my body, so I don’t feel all the lumps and bumps from my old mattress. These new pillows are the same way. Plus, they have cooling gel infused into the memory foam. There’s nothing worse than sweating while you try to sleep. The cooling gel does the trick so you can rest!
Some of these items might take a little investment upfront. But, if you’re able to get better sleep with fibromyalgia, it will be worth it!
Make it Dark So You Can Seep Better
Many studies show that darkness is super important for restful sleep. So one way to get better sleep with fibromyalgia is to make the bedroom dark at night.
I mentioned reducing screen time before bed earlier. But any artificial light can cause sleep issues. There are several ways to reduce light in your bedroom at night.
Turning off all lights is obvious, but it’s a start. You can also avoid having a TV or cell phone in your bedroom. A night light may give you a feeling of security but it won’t give you better rest.
A sleep mask can also help you get better sleep with fibromyalgia. Many of them are made with soft dark fabric. They can block out the light and help you sleep comfortably.
I started researching sleep masks and found some with speakers in them! Little flat speakers that won’t bother your ears! Isn’t that awesome? You can either get one that plugs into your phone or one that uses Bluetooth. So instead of listening to my hubs snore or waking up when he turns on a light, I can just keep on sleeping!!!
Use Supplements to Get Better Sleep With Fibromyalgia
Taking natural supplements can help you get better sleep with fibromyalgia. You can find these supplements at most drug stores. And they don’t require a prescription to try them.
Melatonin Might Help You Get Better Sleep
Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in the body. This hormone helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. But studies have shown that many people with fibromyalgia produce less melatonin. Taking melatonin might be another way to get better sleep with fibromyalgia. I’ve taken melatonin many different times. It has helped me get better sleep.
Many doctors don’t recommend using melatonin for an extended period of time. And many fibromyalgia patients don’t see sleep improvement from using melatonin. But it might be something to try for the occasional sleep disturbance.
Magnesium is Another Good Sleep Aide
Magnesium is another supplement that can help you get better sleep with fibromyalgia. Having enough magnesium in your body is crucial. It helps your body do so many things, and sleep is just one of them! Studies have shown that fibromyalgia patients are often low on magnesium.
While on vacation a few years ago, my mom mentioned that she takes magnesium to help her sleep at night. I decided to try it out, and it definitely helps.
Another way to use magnesium is by taking an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. Adding Epsom salt to your bath water can ease sore muscles. It can also help you relax, which should improve sleep.
Essential Oils for Better Sleep
Essential oils are another option to get better sleep with fibromyalgia. I use essential oils in several different ways. But one of my favorites is to help me sleep!
Frankincense and lavender are essential oils that help many people relax. They have also been shown to improve sleep.
For several years, I’ve used a mix of frankincense, bergamot, and roman chamomile to help me sleep. I rub this mixture onto the bottoms of my feet right before I go to bed. Maybe it’s the smell or the mix of essential oils. But I sleep TONS better with it!
Find What Works to Get Better Sleep With Fibromyalgia
I still have some sleep struggles from time to time. But, by adding in these lifestyle changes, I’ve been able to get better sleep with fibromyalgia. And getting better sleep makes managing fibromyalgia much easier!
Do your research. There are tons of suggestions out there! Talk to your doctor about your sleep struggles. Try some of my tips and see if they help you. At the end of the day, you have to do what works for you.
If you have fibromyalgia or struggle to sleep in any way, what do you use to help you get more rest? Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email.