8 Tips When Fibromyalgia Doesn’t Let You Sleep
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic health condition that is notorious for extreme fatigue and widespread pain in the body’s muscles and bones. The exhaustion can be due to the sleep deprivation experienced by people with fibromyalgia. If you’re one of those who has the condition, you can probably relate to the pain and difficulty in obtaining a good night’s sleep every night. To add on the agony, staying awake heightens the pain even more.
Here at Premier Family Wellness and Spinal Care in Farmington, Michigan, we know that a night of restful sleep is the foundation of your healthy waking life. Later we’ll share eight helpful tips to help fibromyalgia sufferers attain a good night’s sleep. Keep reading to understand the basics of fibromyalgia.
Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Chronic pain throughout the body and extreme fatigue are the hallmark symptoms of fibromyalgia. Other symptoms associated with it are listed below:
- Numbness and tingling in feet and hands
- Difficulty sleeping
- Abnormal headaches
- Fibro fog or memory and thinking issues
- Morning stiffness
- Painful menstruation
Chronic Conditions Associated with Fibromyalgia
Sometimes patients may have more than one chronic condition that occurs with FM, such as the following:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- TMD – temporomandibular joint dysfunction
- Interstitial cystitis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
People at a Greater Risk of Developing Fibromyalgia
While anyone can develop fibromyalgia, some people are more susceptible to it, such us women, middle-aged adults, and those with a family member who has fibromyalgia. Furthermore, people who have one of these conditions are also more prone to having FM:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine)
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Researchers are still studying the exact cause of fibromyalgia. Some things are believed to trigger or contribute to fibromyalgia:
- Traumatic or stressful events
- Certain diseases
- Repetitive injuries
How Fibromyalgia Is Diagnosed
If you believe you have fibromyalgia, you may be required to see different doctors and undergo several tests before getting a final diagnosis. Until all other conditions are ruled out, doctors are reluctant to give a fibromyalgia diagnosis. To follow the procedures for diagnosing FM, there are some questions they may ask you:
- Is your pain widespread throughout your whole body?
- Has your pain been non-stop for more than three months?
- Over the past week, in how many zones on your body did you feel pain?
- Do you have fatigue? Memory problems? Thinking issues?
Fibromyalgia Treatment Options
Your first step towards relief should be finding a doctor who specializes in fibromyalgia and a skilled chiropractic clinic that is able to help you manage your condition. Natural treatment options are recommended, such as lifestyle changes and therapy. Over-the-counter or prescription medications may also be added, such as the following:
- Aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen
- Milnacipran and duloxetine
Steps to Achieve Better Sleep with Fibromyalgia
One of the simplest yet most essential things you can do to care for your fibromyalgia is to get a full night’s sleep as much as possible. Here are some tips to help you develop better sleeping habits:
- Keep a regular sleep schedule: To not mess up your body’s internal clock. Go to bed at the same time at night and wake up at the same time every day.
- Pass up on daytime naps: Although you may feel exhausted and think you need an afternoon nap, it can ruin your nighttime sleep. If you really must rest, set the alarm for less than an hour. Get up and get moving as soon as the alarm rings.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine after 3 pm: Drinking alcohol before bedtime can disturb your sleep. Coffee, chocolates, soft drinks, and even some medications can also keep you from sleeping.
- Save your bed for sleeping only: Reading, watching TV in bed, or working on your laptop or other devices can stimulate your brain and make it tougher to fall asleep. By keeping your bed for rest only, your brain will begin to relax the moment you climb in.
- Relax before bed: Avoid stressful or stimulating things when it’s time to go to bed. Do some relaxing routines such as taking a bath or listening to soft music.
- Keep the bedroom cold, dark, and quiet: Bright light stimulates the brain and disturbs your natural sleep cycle. Keep your cellphone, tablet, and TV off in the bedroom. Avoid eating spicy food or drinking liquids before bed as they can cause unnecessary trips to the bathroom.
- Exercise: Daily exercise has multiple health benefits and is particularly vital if you have fibromyalgia. It strengthens your muscles, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and can make you fall asleep faster at night. But keep in mind: Do NOT exercise during the 3 hours before your regular bed time.
- Keep a sleep diary: Tracking your sleep changes can help you discover a pattern, and can enable you to find out the things that are keeping you from falling asleep and staying asleep. This can help you make some habit adjustments that will result in better sleep.
How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Treats Fibromyalgia
Another treatment option to consider for those with fibromyalgia is maintaining the health of your spine and neck. A misalignment in the bones of the upper neck, particularly in the C1 and C2 vertebrae, is a common occurrence among fibromyalgia sufferers. When this happens, the proper function of the central nervous system is disrupted. The central nervous system is comprised of the spinal cord, brain, and brainstem. A misalignment in this area can put excessive pressure on the brainstem, leading to the sending of flawed pain signals to the brain. This can easily result in the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
We perform a mild, painless technique that helps the bones to realign naturally without using force on the spine. We will move your bones into their original place, to restore the correct communication between your brain and brainstem. Many fibromyalgia patients who have received our care have noticed a decrease in their fibromyalgia symptoms and an improvement in their overall quality of life.