More than half of people with fibromyalgia experience sleeping issues. You may have a hard time falling asleep or wake up several times during the night if you have this painful condition. You don’t spend enough time at the deeper sleep stages. Or you possibly suffer from all three.
How can poor sleep affect fibromyalgia?
It isn’t simply important that there’s a sleep problem in the first place, but more so, that there is a problem causing you to experience sleeping issues. Without proper rest, chronic pain will aggravate and fatigue can increase. Finding a solution will not cure your fibromyalgia, but it is going to lower your pain and tiredness. And since those are the very painful fibromyalgia symptoms, that may be consolation enough.
The Value of Sleep with Fibromyalgia
The worth of sleep goes beyond simply giving you a rest. It has biochemical and psychological significance. A few reasons your body needs a good night’s sleep include:
- Sleep allows your body to fix damaged tissues.
- Dreaming promotes good physical and psychological wellness.
- Some essential hormones, growth hormone, for instance, are secreted during sleep or soon before waking.
- You concentrate better and are less fatigued with a good night’s sleep. Deficiency of quality rest can cause what is known as the fibro fog (the inability to focus and concentrate because of fibromyalgia’s extreme fatigue).
Many researchers consider fibromyalgia sufferers don’t get enough deep sleep. Fundamentally, sleep researchers have identified three kinds of sleep, mild sleep (stages 1 and 2), deep sleep (stages 3 and 4), and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.) If you don’t spend enough time in deep sleep, your body reduces the production of hormones that are important. Pain may be increased by decreased production of these hormones .
Likewise, if you don’t experience sufficient REM sleep, your body may produce less cortisol (although the hormone, which controls blood pressure and blood surgar, may be released at any given time during sleep). People with fibromyalgia may have reduced levels of cortisol, which contributes to their fatigue.
7 Tips to Help Achieve Better Sleep
- Anti-depressants. Many people find that low doses of tricyclic anti-depressants help attain a more profound sleep. The drugs make people feel exhausted, and then fall asleep. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects.
- Don’t watch TV or surf the Internet on your computer instantly before going to bed. These activities boost activity from the brain, which makes it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Get more exercise.Your pain and fatigue may save you from exercising, but mild exercise may help you to get a more therapeutic sleep.
- Herbal supplements. Valerian, kava kava, and melatonin are alternative medications which have helped some people fall asleep. Valerian helps with insomnia, kava kava also treats insomnia, along with stress and nervousness, and cortisol helps reset the body’s natural rhythm. Always speak to your doctor before taking herbal or other supplements to avoid a potentially significant interaction with drugs you take, especially if they’re prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
- Mattress choice. You may be on the market for a new mattress, if you are not sleeping on a bed that promotes a good night’s sleep. You will find a variety of mattresses that can make a big difference in your quality of sleep.
- Prescription sleep treatments. There are an assortment of FDA-approved drugs specifically for sleep disorders, such as zolpidem (Ambien) and eszoplicone (Lunesta).
- Simulate the breathing of deep sleep. This may “trick” your body into sleeping by taking slow deep breaths which mimic those of the deeper sleep stages. You will feel relaxed and better able to fall asleep.
If you are experiencing sleep problems, talk with your physician. You will learn the best treatment choices to give you the excellent sleep you need to help suppress your fibromyalgia symptoms.
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Wellness
Overall health and wellness are essential towards maintaining the proper mental and physical balance in the body. From eating a balanced nutrition as well as exercising and participating in physical activities, to sleeping a healthy amount of time on a regular basis, following the best health and wellness tips can ultimately help maintain overall well-being. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can go a long way towards helping people become healthy.
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