For people living with fibromyalgia, the permutation of sleep disorders and pain is a double-edged sword: the pain drastically makes sleep more problematic and sleep deprivation intensifies pain. Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that causes stiffness in the joints and muscles with a pervasive pain as well as causes chronic daytime fatigue and insomnia. According to experts, between 75 to 85 percent of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are middle-aged women, though it can have serious effects on people of all ages and both sexes.
Is Fibromyalgia Real?
In the past, many people who were looking for treatment for fibromyalgia were most commonly told that their symptoms were “Psychological” and they did not have any kind of known disease. Though, in recent decade with the advent of medical technology; medical studies have recognized fibromyalgia symptoms and are estimated to affect between 3 to 5 percent of people all over the world.
Sleep Disorders Common with Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is commonly associated with sleep problems such as insomnia or frequent awakenings as well as difficulty falling asleep. Fibromyalgia sleep study shows that person suffering with fibromyalgia also faces an even more common sleep problem that is arousals that he/she doesn’t remember but it disrupts their “deep” sleep. Also, sleep disorders—such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome are commonly associated with fibromyalgia.
People with fibromyalgia often discuss symptoms such as feeling exhausted because of the involuntarily wake-ups day after day. Morning becomes the most tiring time of the day, and many go back to sleep to decrease their weariness. Also, a common condition called “fibro fog” is common for people with fibromyalgia that decrease their concentration power during the day.
Depression, anxiousness and pain associated with fibromyalgia can also contribute to sleep issues.
Sleep Strategies to Ease Off Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
To ease symptoms of fibromyalgia, establish better sleep hygiene practices. An improvement in your sleep can excessively decrease your fatigue, “fibro fog” and pain. You can try following approaches and see if you see an improvement in your sleep.
Do not sleep for excessively long times as it will not help you in fact you will only have shallow and fragmented sleep. Sleep only as much as necessary to ease fatigue and feel healthy and refreshed the following day.
Maintain a sleep diary. Write down the duration of your sleep each night and triggers that may have disrupted your sleep. This sleep diary is very handy when you go to your doctor for fibromyalgia treatment.
Meditate and use relaxation therapies. It promotes restful sleep and is beneficial to manage fibromyalgia.
Avoid exercising four hours before bedtime.
Do not sleep empty stomach as hunger may disrupt your sleep.
Avoid caffeine, smoking or alcohol in the evening. They interfere with your sleep.
The most common drugs approved for fibromyalgia are milnacipran (Savella), duloxetine (Cymbalta) and pregabalin (Lyrica). To ease pain of fibromyalgia, patients also suggested muscle relaxants, pain relievers, and antidepressants. Please consult your doctor before taking any drugs.
Research in Progress to Establish Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Sleep Problems
More research and medical studies are currently in progress that may help discover more decisive causes of sleep difficulties associated with fibromyalgia. It is expected that in few more years, scientists will have in-depth knowledge of connection between fibromyalgia and sleep problems.