November 13, 2018
Sleep used to come more easily to me, and I miss waking up feeling rested and refreshed. Those days are but a distant memory now. It’s just one more thing that fibromyalgia has taken from me, leaving me longing for better days.
Unrefreshing sleep comes with a whole host of issues that affect our day to day lives in crushing ways. Some of those issues are:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Unrelenting fatigue
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- A greater sensitivity to physical pain
- Poor task performance
- Increased sensitivity to heat or cold
- Morning stiffness and achiness
If you’re struggling, talk to your doctor about over-the-counter or prescription medications that may improve your quality of sleep. Check the possibility of doing a sleep study to determine if underlying issues need to be addressed. Keep in mind that the amount of time we sleep is not necessarily as important as the quality of that rest.
Painsomnia is another monkey wrench in our battle for rest. It occurs when the severity of our pain keeps us awake and miserable. When that happens to me, I find that heating pads, a cup of tea, and a good book can help to keep me more comfortable as well as distracted. If I know I’ll be unable to sleep for a while, I binge watch something on Netflix or Hulu. Basically, I find whatever it is that keeps me distracted from the pain.
Sleep hygiene plays a part in our quality of rest, as well as habitual bedtime routines. Some sleep routines you may want to incorporate are:
- Take a relaxing bath with Epsom salt and lavender essential oil.
- Put some lavender oil on your pillow, on your wrists, or in a diffuser.
- Turn off your devices.
- Read a book, but not one that gets your adrenaline pumping.
- Listen to relaxing music or sounds (I prefer ocean sounds).
- Take CBD oil, magnesium, or melatonin.
According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, “There is preliminary evidence that alterations in sleep stage transitions and sleep instability, and other physiological mechanisms, such as heart rate variability and altered cortisol profiles, may be evident.” As you can see, so many different things can interfere with and disrupt our rest.
What type of sleep issues are you struggling with? How does it affect your daily life? What solutions have you found helpful?