Fibromyalgia is an extremely painful condition that is widespread throughout the entire body and can cause joint and muscle stiffness, sleep problems, and fatigue. Pain becomes a focal point in the life of a fibromyalgia patient, where every action and every thought is consumed by the debilitating effects and the need to fix the problem. Because pain symptoms interrupt sleep, chronic daytime fatigue is a major concern and likely causing more pain symptoms, so that the condition becomes a vicious cycle of sleepless nights and over-tiredness leading to over-sensitivity to pain.
Fibromyalgia is a very difficult syndrome to treat because symptoms will often be misdiagnosed or misunderstood and can vary in location and intensity, befuddling doctors as to the cause. One of the most common complaints in fibro patients is the loss of sleep, but the loss of sleep is due to the pain, so that means the pain will need to be addressed first and foremost. Treatment for fibro pain are addressed in other articles, but include changing diet, using special herbs, increasing certain vitamins and minerals, and using special stretches and exercises.
Once the severity of the pain is lessened, sleep patterns can be addressed. Fortunately, there are some really good and safe ways to help you sleep better with this diagnosis, allowing you to feel more rested in the morning so that you can focus more on getting your body into a state of comfortable functioning, without excessive pain.
Are Sleeping Pills The Answer?
An estimated six to 10 percent of US adults used some sort of hypnotic sleeping pill in 2010. But, as evidenced by a new study, using sleeping pills can be a dangerous, not to mention ineffective, solution. According to the new research, using prescription sleeping pills can increase your risk of cancer and premature death. In fact, the study, published in the BMJ Open, suggests that those who take such medications are nearly four times more likely to die than people who don’t take them.
“We are not certain. But it looks like sleeping pills could be as risky as smoking cigarettes. It looks much more dangerous to take these pills than to treat insomnia another way,” study leader Daniel F. Kripke, MD, tells WebMD.
Natural Ways to Restore Deep Sleep
The first thing to do is make a sleep schedule and stick to it. The biological functioning and circadian rhythms are needed for restoration and full rest of the body’s systems and functioning, especially the brain. Set a time for bed and a time for wake up every day, no matter what. Also, don’t sleep more than 8 to 10 hours. Oversleeping can add to fatigue and make it difficult to focus during the day.
Utilize natural supplements like magnesium, calcium, melatonin, and valerian root. Talk to a naturopathic or functional medicine practitioner for how much to use, as you may need higher dosages because of fibro symptoms. Magnesium and calcium are good for the muscles and the bones. For more controlled or minor symptoms, try taking a double dose of a magnesium supplement 30 minutes before bedtime. 5HTP, melatonin, and other natural remedies have been proven to be especially helpful in restoring deep refreshing sleep.
Gentle yoga stretches that focus on stretching muscles in problem areas an hour or two before bedtime is also a great way to control nighttime pain symptoms. Meditating or praying before bed is a wonderful way to relax your mind and put your body at rest. It will take a combined effort of different regimens to find what will work best for you. The trick is knowing and listening to your body and finding a natural functional practitioner that will help you through the process.
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