If you’re suffering from fibromyalgia, you have probably noticed that you have difficulty sleeping. However, is your fibromyalgia causing your sleep problems or are your sleep problems causing your fibromyalgia. Things such as restless sleep, fatigue, lack of sleep, and frequently waking during the night are some of the most common complaints among those suffering from fibromyalgia.
Some researchers are claiming that insomnia and the other sleep disorders are side effects of the chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia. On the other hand, some scientists are now claiming that fibromyalgia could be the cause of the sleep disturbances.
Most people with fibromyalgia complain of having difficulty sleeping. No matter how much sleep they get, it’s rare to get restful, quality sleep. Following is some information that can help you to get a better night’s sleep.
What are the Common Sleep Issues with Fibromyalgia?
Sleep problems related to fibromyalgia include difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, insomnia, and more. You may wake up frequently and remember it the next day. Even more common is waking up and not remembering it. However, these awakenings interrupt your deep sleep and make you groggy the next day. Additionally, other sleep disorders including sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome could possibly be associated with fibromyalgia.
Individuals with fibromyalgia report that they wake up every single day feeling completely exhausted and drained of all energy. Typically, they feel much more tired first thing in the mornings and in order to combat their fatigue, they take naps during the day. Additionally, it is quite common for individuals with fibromyalgia to have difficulty concentrating during the day- which is a condition referred to as “fibro fog.”
Other symptoms of fibromyalgia that can contribute to sleep problems include anxiety and depression.
Restless Leg Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
Restless Leg Syndrome, called RLS for short, is a neurological disorder that is characterized by a desperate desire to move your legs while resting. Restless leg syndrome is quite common among individuals who suffer from fibromyalgia. However, you should know that there is treatment available for restless leg syndrome. You should speak with your physician about treatment if you’re experiencing symptoms of restless leg syndrome. Treating this could also help ease your fibromyalgia symptoms.
Sleep Strategies to Help With Sleep Issues Related to Fibromyalgia
Establishing a better sleep schedule can help you to manage your symptoms of fibromyalgia. When you work on improving your sleep, you can possibly help decrease the fatigue, “fibro fog,” and pain associated with your fibromyalgia. Following are some strategies you can employ to try to help with your sleep. Additionally, you can speak with your physician about prescribing a sleeping pill that will be safe and effective that can help you get your body back into the habit of a restful sleep regimen.
First of all, you should only sleep as much as you need to feel refreshed and able to function the next day. You don’t want to sleep any more than that. When you shorten the time you spend in bed, that seems to make your sleep better. When you spend excessive time in bed, that seems to cause fragmented, shallow sleep.
Track your sleep in a sleep diary. Take the time to jot down how you slept during the night and the triggers that caused interference with your sleep. After several weeks, take some time to go over your notes. It can provide some insight into what is causing your sleep issues.
Wake up at the same time every morning- no matter how much or how little you sleep. Waking up at the regular time every day strengthens your circadian rhythm and leads to falling asleep at a regular time every night.
Employ some relaxation techniques. Have your partner give you a gentle massage, practice some deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques can be great for helping you manage your fibromyalgia symptoms and promoting restful sleep.
Make sure you’re getting regular exercise. However, you need to make sure that you don’t exercise within three hours before going to bed because exercise increases your endorphins, and can keep you awake. Exercise could possibly have some beneficial effects by promoting better sleep quality.
If you must have noise when you’re sleeping, sound-attenuated bedrooms could be beneficial. Even if you are not fully awakened by loud noises such as airplanes flying over, your sleep can still be disturbed- even though you don’t remember it the next day.
You should avoid taking really long naps during the day. If you nap too much or too long, it can cause interference with your sleep at night.
The temperature in your bedroom should be cool. If your room is overly warm, it could possibly disturb your sleep.
Try not to go to bed hungry- hunger can possibly cause sleep disturbances. However, you don’t want to eat a full meal but a light snack may help.
Alcohol and caffeine can cause sleep disturbances, so you should avoid consuming either in the evenings.
Can Medication Help with Fibromyalgia-Related Sleep Disorders?
Treating your fibromyalgia symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and pain can help to reduce your sleep problems. Medications that are approved to treat fibromyalgia symptoms are as follows:
- Cymbalta (duloxetine)
- Lyrica (pregabalin)
- Savella (milnacipran)
Some of the other medications that are helpful in treating and managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia include muscle relaxers, antidepressants, and pain relievers. Your physicians may also be able to recommend the use of sleep medications.