Awake with Pain? How to Sleep Better With Fibromyalgia

Do you find it impossible to get a good night’s sleep with fibromyalgia? Do you feel like the lack of sleep is making your pain worse?

If being tired seems to worsen your symptoms, you are not alone.   Doctors have found lack of sleep does make your body more sensitive to pain.  You may find the pain keeps you awake, so you rest poorly. Being tired makes your fibromyalgia symptoms flare up, so you still can’t sleep.  You may feel caught in an endless cycle.  But there are ways to cope that can help you get more sleep.

I’m going to share quite a few tips with you.  This is because there is no single best way to manage this condition.  You may have to try a mix of different methods to get the best results for you.

What I can share with you are the answers found by many people with fibromyalgia who have found specific steps to control their symptoms.

  1. Create a regular routine – Get your body used to a pattern of sleeping and waking.  Set a time to go to bed and a time to rise.  That may mean planning your day’s activities to help you wind down in time.  Find the things that tend to keep you up late (sugary foods, computer work) – and plan them or replace them with other activities so they have less impact on your sleep.
  2. Listen to your body – you may find certain activities are more soothing than others to do before you go to bed.  Finding a quiet, calming activity for the 20-30 minutes before trying to sleep can help you get much needed rest.
    1. A warm bath, soaking in Epsom salts, lavender oil, chamomile oil or juniper oil can soothe sore muscles enough to let  you rest.
    2. Meditation, yoga or prayer can help you clear your mind and also relax muscles
  3. Avoid naps – they disrupt the sleep pattern that allow you to rest more fully.
  4. Try natural fiber sleepwear and sheets.  These can allow your skin to breathe better, and prevent big swings in temperature while you sleep. Temperature swings have been linked to pain flare-ups for people with fibromyalgia.
  5. Try a few good sleeping positions – Doctors recommend sleeping on your side to avoid putting stress on your tender spots. If you sleep on your back. try placing a pillow under tender spots such as the small of your back, or behind your knees. If you sleep on your stomach, a pillow under your stomach helps reduce the arch in your back and keep you more comfortable.

Medications can also help control pain so you can rest.  More information on medicine for fibromyalgia is coming in other tips.

If you enjoy this health tip please share it or print it for your use. It comes to you from Dr. Betty Keller, an integrative therapy and fibromyalgia specialist, practicing in Franklin Lakes New Jersey at the Optimal Wellness Center.