Fatigue is the most common symptom that people suffer from with Fibromyalgia, and also almost all have some type of sleep disorder.
Consequently it’s a viscous circle of fatigue, lack of sleep then more fatigue.
Sufferers say the feeling is a total drain of energy with the desire to do absolutely nothing but rest.
The actual severity of fatigue varies with different individuals. For some it can be mild, while with others, like myself, it can be so bad that at times it can be totally incapacitating.
Some sufferers say the fatigue can become the worst problem of Fibromyalgia, even more so than the pain.
The type of sleep we suffer from is often a disruption of deep sleep, where you feel as though you have been awake all night. In fact, some studies have shown that Fibromyalgia patients have little or no problem falling asleep, but were woken several times by a sudden burst of brain activity.
It is known than lack of sleep will produces less growth hormones, which is vital in healthy muscles and soft tissue. Therefore, the lack of sleep that we suffer from can actually contribute to some Fibromyalgia symptoms.
Many of us wake up in the morning feeling like we didn’t get a minute of sleep. We feel tired and unrefreshed and feel as though we will not be able to get through the rest of the day without further sleep.
This is what they call non-restorative sleep. This problem then means that muscles that were hurting the day before did not get enough rest so they hurt again the following day.
Although they often say pacing is important with chronic pain, non-restorative sleep comes whether you have paced yourself or not. Trying to get a couple of hours in the afternoon is an essential part of my therapy to get through the exhaustion stage of Fibromyalgia. Without it by the time the evening comes I can sometimes find myself feeling so awful that just holding a conversation with someone can be too tiring.
Finding your own way of coping and managing your life while suffering from chronic fatigue is a very important part of managing what can sometimes be a debilitating symptom of Fibromyalgia.