Sleep problems are one of the most common complaints among people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. With both conditions, poor sleep is a major source of intensified symptoms.
Regardless of the number of hours slept, sleep is usually not restorative, meaning that people wake up tired rather than refreshed. This is likely due to an insufficient amount of the deepest and most restorative type of sleep, called delta sleep. When healthy volunteers in a research experiment were deprived of delta sleep, they developed symptoms of fibromyalgia in a few days: fatigue, cognitive difficulties, irritability and muscle aches.
Other sleep problems include:
- Difficulty getting to sleep
- Frequent awakenings or waking early
- Phase shifting (hard to fall asleep until early morning hours)
- Oversleeping (8 to 10 hours is ideal)
- Vivid dreams
- Feeling “tired but wired” (feel exhausted but mind is racing)
- Restless legs
- Periodic leg movements
In addition, many people with CFS and FM experience intensified fatigue, achiness and mental fogginess that lasts one to two hours after rising. In addition to sleep problems due to CFS and FM, a majority of people with the two conditions experience sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.
Addressing sleep problems is a good initial focus for symptom management because treating sleep can both improve quality of life and reduce other symptoms. Sleep management plans usually include a combination of strategies from three categories:
- Sleep environment and habits
- Sleep disorders
Sleep Environment and Habits
Most people with CFS/FM can improve their sleep by changing their sleep habits and their sleep environment, matching a solution to a problem. Common problems include:
- Irregular hours for going to bed or getting up / no schedule
- Noisy environment (including snoring by sleeping partner)
- Lack of control over light and temperature
- Uncomfortable bed
- Tension and worry
- Not allowing time to wind down
- Eating or drinking caffeinated products too close to bedtime
A starting point for better sleep is to address these and other aspects of your sleep hygiene.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.cfidsselfhelp.org
When you’re experiencing symptoms of widespread pain as a result of fibromyalgia, getting a good night’s rest can be difficult. Aside from following through with treatment procedures to manage the pain and discomfort an individual may feel, getting proper sleep can also help reduce the symptoms. Following several of the above recommendations can help those affected with fibromyalgia, achieve a bountiful slumber.
For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .