A few simple changes can make a difference to your quality of sleep. I know this very well from first hand experience, having suffered from poor unrefreshing sleep for years.
After weeks of not sleeping the body’s functions become impaired making it extremely difficult to function in a normal way. (Whatever normal is for a fibromyalgia sufferer).
“If you’re thinking, I don’t have fibromyalgia, it’s still worth giving these suggestions a try.”
“Insomnia, fatigue and pain are all part of life if you live with fibromyalgia.” The symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as fatigue and pain are all made worse with poor quality sleep.
Over time I’ve found some solutions that have helped me get a better nights sleep. Obviously, there’s no one size fits all with these suggestions. That said, it’s still worth giving them a go. Just being aware what might work is useful.
On occasions I still find I have some problems sleeping but I can solve these more effectively than previously.
Common problems experienced range from:
- getting to sleep
- staying asleep until morning
- waking during the night
- getting back to sleep after waking up
Have a look at the following suggestions for improving your sleep
Go for regular exercise every morning, for example a walk
Check your bedroom temperature and lighting are beneficial for sleep
Adjust your bed and pillows to make it as comfy as possible
Invest in a electric blanket to warm the bed before you get in and help relax muscles
Avoid smoking, over eating or drinking caffeine directly before bedtime
My top tips for getting to sleep
- Help your mind wind down for the day
- Get into a regular sleep routine for adjusting your Circadian rhythm, try to get up at the same time every day
- Turn off all devices that emit blue light an hour before bedtime
- Read a relaxing book or listen to gentle music
- Try a meditation, like yoga nidra or one for helping you to get to sleep
- Use ear plugs and a eye mask to block unwanted noise and light
- Get into a comfortable sleep position and then try a relaxation routine
Whilst you are asleep make sure your room doesn’t have anything that will wake you like a mobile phone.
A pet that sleeps in your bedroom and disturbs you in the night, should be encouraged to sleep elsewhere.
If you wake in the night and cannot get back to sleep get up and find something that makes you drowsy like reading or a yoga nidra sleep meditation then return to bed.
If you find by morning you have not had enough sleep go back to bed and sleep for a while longer. If you catch up with a couple of hours sleep every night you will see the difference after a few months.
I recently read several articles which mentioned vitamin D (sunlight) exposure daily in the morning shortly after rising can help and mindfulness meditation both improved the quality of sleep in fibromyalgia sufferers.
I believe this to be true because I usually get up and do a daily walk every morning and this regulates my circadian rhythm over the next 24 hours. It’s more important to get up at the same time every day than the time I go to sleep.
I’ve found improvements in my concentration and ability to switch off at night after practicing regular Meditation on a daily basis. Explore meditation apps for sessions covering mindfulness and sleep. Have a look at my Fibromyalgia Self Help pages on Meditation and Exercise
If you have insomnia and it’s not necessarily fibromyalgia related, get it checked out by your doctor or health professional. If they prescribe sleeping pills it would be advisable to be referred to see a specialist sleep consultant.
Have a look at the NHS sleep self assessment to determine how good your sleep is. From this link you will find some helpful information about sleep.