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I’m a married 31 year-old who has been diagnosed with fibromylagia for 12 years. I am on a quest to raise awareness and help others by sharing information and staying positive. Read more
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Tips for Sleeping Well

If you have fibromyalgia you know just how difficult getting decent sleep can be. For my second post on tips for sleeping I will be discussing some of the ideas mentioned in a recent Arthritis Today article, Getting to a Good Night’s Sleep by Larry Lindner. You can find this article in their Januray-February issue.

We’ve all heard not to eat a big meal too close to bedtime, but this article also points out that we shouldn’t go to bed hungry either. Both actions cause strong reactions in our bodies that prevent our bodies from physically winding down and letting us fall asleep. To help your bodies mentally wind down, try writing a to-do list earlier in the evening. Hopefully this will keep you from laying awake, thinking of the things you don’t want to forget to get done. Another method is to come up with a relaxing bedtime ritual. Think of activities like listening to soothing music, using a foot bath or taking a bath, drinking warm herbal (caffeine free) tea, etc…

Make sure to stay away from the myriad of caffeinated beverages though. Caffeine can block the brain from sensing adenosine, a neurotransmitter. This means your body will not be able to get the signals telling the brain you are sleepy! The current general advice is to abstain from drinking caffeine 3-5 hours before bedtime. This article points out that new evidence is showing that caffeine may actually effect the production of adenosine as well. This means your adenosine levels might not rise high enough for your body to get good sleep even if you had your caffeine earlier in the day. Something to think about as you’re sipping your peppermint mochas!

This article states that scientists aren’t entirely sure of the reasoning behind why a warm room awakens people during the night. I know that the temperature in my bedroom can keep me up all night – mostly if I’m too hot, but also if I’m really cold. Keeping a cooler temperature in the bedroom has been proven to be better for sleep. To keep cooler in the summer I sleep in wicking shorts, and sometimes a wicking shirt as well. During the winter months bed linens feel so cold when first crawling into bed! (I shivered just thinking about that!) I sleep in layers so that I can be warm enough to fall asleep, but if I wake up feeling warm, I can quickly shed off my socks or sweatshirt.

For more information on sleeping well, see my posts Tips & Tools for Sleeping Well…Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V.

Have behavior modifications helped you sleep better?

Arthritis Today magazine



Comments

Comment from Michelle jadaa
Time January 3, 2011 at 6:17 am

I use silicone ear plugs, yes hubby snores but even when he’s not around I’ve found that I sleep better with them. I also use an eye mask especially in the summer. A spot of lavender oil on the pillow helps too:)

[Reply]

Felicia Fibro Reply:

Thanks for sharing your tip on using earplugs, Michelle. It is great to know that they help you out! I’ve thought about using them before, but was worried my ear canals would become irritated if I used them overnight. Sounds like that is no problem for you though! I also find eye masks and lavender to be helpful – I discuss that in my previous post, Tips & Tools for Sleeping Well…

[Reply]

Comment from Fibromyalgia Syndrome
Time January 4, 2011 at 5:50 am

Dear Felicia,
I’m quite inspired with your blog. I needed these thoughts. It will help me as well, grow more positively in my outlook in life.

God Speed

[Reply]

Felicia Fibro Reply:

@FibromyalgiaSyndrome – Thank you for your kind words and good luck on your journey!

[Reply]

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