Fibromyalgia is a severe condition often caused by a traumatic injury, stress, or infection. It can cause severe pain, which can make it very difficult for you to sleep. Unfortunately, if you’re unable to sleep, it can amplify the painful symptoms of fibromyalgia even more. This article will explore how fibromyalgia affects your sleep and a few helpful ways you can manage sleep issues caused by it.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a type of musculoskeletal pain that increases the number of painful sensations sent throughout your body. This is because there’s a slight problem in the connection between the pain receptors and your brain.
There are quite a few symptoms that fibromyalgia brings.
- Chronic pain
- Muscle spasms
- Tingling sensations in your hands
- Joint stiffness
How Fibromyalgia Affects Your Sleep
This health issue causes pain and can make it difficult for you to sleep. Because it causes your nerves to tingle, you might have trouble lying down. You might try adjusting your body in different positions, but this often doesn’t help. If you’re unable to get a good night’s sleep, this can increase the pain even more because your body doesn’t have time to repair itself.
1) Change Your Mattress
Sometimes you might not be getting the best sleep due to your mattress. If your mattress is too firm, it can press against your body increasing your pain. On the other hand, a mattress that is too soft won’t properly support your body. This can put pressure on your spine and cause severe misalignment.
One of the best chiropractor-recommended mattresses for fibromyalgia is those made of memory foam. This material is soft enough to provide comfort but not so much as not to create support.
Many memory foam mattresses come with unique features. For instance, some might be built with cooling fibers, while others will allow you to adjust their firmness. For more great tips, check out the Current Mattress Guide.
2) Sleep in a Quiet Space
If the room you sleep in tends to have loud noises, it could irritate your body. Studies have shown that loud sounds create stress responses in the brain’s amygdala. This causes stress hormones to be sent throughout the body, making it harder to sleep.
For those who need slight noise in the room while they sleep, consider playing delta-embedded music. Delta waves are very low-frequency sounds that interact with the portion of your brain that makes you sleep.
One study published in the journal Pain Research and Management showed that people living with fibromyalgia who played this type of music when trying to sleep found that it helped improve their sleep quality.
3) Adjust Your Diet
You might also consider adjusting your diet to help you sleep. Most of the time, you’ll need to include anti-inflammatory options. This will reduce inflammation in your body caused by fibromyalgia and help you to feel more relaxed. Some of the best food to consume for this purpose are:
- Brown rice
- Olive oil
In addition to anti-inflammatory options, consider adding a few high in melatonin. This can encourage your body to fall asleep faster. You can enjoy plenty of options that will increase your body’s melatonin levels. These are:
Besides eating healthy food, you’ll need to avoid a select few. These include:
- Added sugars
These ingredients cause inflammation, which can worsen your fibromyalgia pain.
4) Get a Massage
A massage is not only therapeutic but can help relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. A massage will help to slow your heart rate and relax your muscles. This can significantly reduce the tingling sensations around them. It will also boost your endorphin levels, which are natural painkillers.
Besides calming fibromyalgia symptoms, a massage will also help you with insomnia. It will encourage your body to release serotonin – a hormone that works with melatonin to make you sleep.
Keeping your body active is essential for encouraging sleep. It will increase blood flow in your body, so it releases tension in your muscles. This can result in it producing plenty of endorphins to alleviate your pain. Exercising can also reduce any fatigue you have and make you more energetic.
The exercises don’t have to be extreme. Simply walking, swimming, or cycling can give your body an incredible amount of relief. Keep in mind that at first, you might feel a little sore. However, the more often you do this, the less soreness you’ll feel. Over time, exercising will also increase your range of motion so you can move without pain.
6) Remove Blue Light
Blue light can be very harmful to your sleeping schedule. If you’re unable to sleep, you might reach over and grab your phone or similar device to occupy your mind.
When you stare at the screen, it emits blue light. This color can block your melatonin, which can cause your circadian system not to function correctly. Because of this, remove any form of blue light in the room you plan to sleep in. Ideally, keep the device out of the room so there are no chances of it lighting up.
If you need to keep a device near you while sleeping, consider lowering the screen brightness. You might also want to invest in blue light glasses.
7) Be Consistent in Your Sleeping Schedule
You’ll want to make sure to be consistent in your sleeping schedule. This can help your body’s internal clock get used to a schedule that can teach it when you need to sleep and get up.
Besides this, you’ll also find that being consistent in your schedule is right for your overall health. This is because it allows your body to recover from the day and repair possible problems, including painful symptoms caused by fibromyalgia. Other aspects it helps are your cardiovascular health and immune system.
Relieving Fibromyalgia-Related Sleep Problems
Fibromyalgia comes with many symptoms, including insomnia. By considering these tips, you can easily manage any sleep issues you might have with it.