I’m pretty sure I may live in the worse possible area, weather wise, for fibromyalgia. Our weather keeps switching from a nice low 80’s to super-hot, melt you alive, temperatures with 100% humidity…and then of course it decides to rain.

 My fibro flares are going up and down right along with the weather, not just day to day, but it’s even switching throughout the day as the temps are dropping in the evening.

I’m ready for fall. I know it means more rain, but at least we may have some steadier temps.

When I have this many mini flares off and on I have major sleep problems. I can’t sleep, I sleep too much, I wake up in the middle of the night wide awake, or my main problem right now is that no matter how much I’m sleeping I don’t feel rested. I wake up every morning feeling down-right exhausted.

Sleep problems are very common with fibromyalgia (around 75% of us!). In fact, some research is attempting to prove that sleep disturbances are not side effect of fibromyalgia, but rather Fibromyalgia is a side effect of sleep problems. It’s said that people with fibromyalgia never get into the “deep” sleep cycle, or don’t stay in deep sleep long enough (www.health.com).

No matter the reason, the fact of the matter is that the lack of “good” sleep is making me nuts. So…the million-dollar question…. What do you do about it?? These are some tips from www.webmd.com.

“Sleep only as much as needed to feel refreshed and healthy the following day, not more. Curtailing the time in bed seems to solidify sleep. Excessively long times in bed seem related to fragmented and shallow sleep.”

– Huh? This makes it sound like I should run into bed as quickly as possible right at 10:00 p.m. and jump right back out at exactly 6:00 a.m. I don’t know about anyone else but the pressure of knowing I HAVE to sleep during these hours will only make it harder for me. Plus, I haven’t felt “refreshed” in a long time, no matter if I sleep 4 hours or 12. I don’t know that I will ever find the perfect sleep hours for me.

“Keep a sleep diary. Write down how you slept each night and triggers that may have interfered with your sleep. Reviewing your notes over several weeks may give you insight into your sleep problems.”

– Ok, this really isn’t that bad of an idea…as long as fibro fog doesn’t get in your way. I walked downstairs at work today for a ream of paper and by the time I had taken the short walk I had no idea why I went down there in the first place. I ate a starburst, talked with my friend, grabbed a straw for my muscle milk. Twenty minutes later I remembered the paper. As far as the sleep diary, I’m not sure I would remember my “triggers”

“Have a regular time to wake up each morning. A regular arousal time helps strengthen circadian cycling and leads to regular times of sleep onset.””

– This is very true. As much as I like to sleep in, I know the days I do I will have more trouble trying to get to sleep that night.

“Use relaxation therapies. A gentle massage, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques are all potentially beneficial to managing fibromyalgia and boosting restful sleep.”

– This is why I love pilates and my physical therapy sessions so much. It does both of these. In fact, I always sleep like a baby the night after a physical therapy session.

“Exercise regularly (but avoid exercising three hours before bedtime). Exercise may exert its beneficial effect by promoting better-quality sleep. ”

-Check

“Sound-attenuated bedrooms may help those who must sleep close to noise. Occasional loud noises — for example, aircraft flyovers — disturb sleep even in people who are not awakened and cannot remember them in the morning. ”

-Not an easy fix for anyone who owns a pet. Between a snoring dog and a cat who likes to have choir practice in the middle of the night, I’m stuck with some night time noises.

“Avoid long daytime naps. Extensive napping can interfere with nighttime sleep.”

 – This is very, very true. I hate napping. If I nap, I stay up all night long. It’s a miserable feeling. Knowing how good a nap would feel at the moment, but also knowing how miserable you are going to be later if you take one now. I only nap in pure desperation of being completely exhausted or if I’m sick.

“Keep the temperature in your room cool. An excessively warm room disturbs sleep.”

 – This really stinks when you have to get out of bed the next morning and the coolness in the room makes your stiffness worse.

“Hunger may disturb sleep; a light snack of carbohydrates may help sleep.”

 – We are late supper-eaters. We don’t generally eat supper until 8:30- 9:00 so I’m not sure this tip works for me, but I would bet it might help others.

“Enjoy a soothing (warm) bath in the evening.”

 – I suppose my rush home, hurry up and wash the Zumba or Pilates off of me shower doesn’t count as “soothing” as this tip suggests.

“Do yoga and stretching exercises to relax.”

 – Or Pilates 🙂

“Listen to calming music.”

 – Hah! I’m not sure the Zumba music I listen to in the evening is very “calming”

“Meditate to tame intrusive thoughts and tension.”

 – I’ve never been very good at Meditation. I can never turn off my mind. I think that’s one of the reasons I love pilates so much. It’s my little personal time of meditation because I’m not thinking of anything but Pilates. “Inhale. Exhale. One, two, three. Oh my good will we ever get to ten? What do you mean ten more?? Don’t fart, don’t fart. Inhale. Exhale.”

“Sleep in a darkened room. Try an eye mask if necessary.”

 – Check

 

Ok. So I do see a few things on this list I can definately try or change in my evening routine to hopefully help me sleep better.

Wish me luck and good night and sweet dreams to all!

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