Another week has flown by and its time for my Sleep Sunday – Let’s Talk About Sleep post here on my Back Pain Blog.
I am a member of a group called MyFibroTeam which I have to admit I do not sit and read their articles on a regular basis. However, I have never deleted any of their emails so I decided to sit and read through all the links they had sent me. I came across this article on Fibromyalgia and Insomnia which I thought was perfect for this weeks post after my article yesterday on fibro flare-ups.
MyFibroTeam is the social network for those living with fibromyalgia. You get the emotional support you need from others like you and gain practical advice and insights on managing treatment or therapies for fibromyalgia. MyFibroTeam is the only social network where you can truly connect, make real friendships, and share daily ups and downs in a judgement-free place. It is certainly somewhere I will now be visiting on a regular basis. Some members have given their personal tips for a good nights sleep.
According to MyFibroTeam members report that chronic lack of sleep exacerbates pain, fatigue, and other symptoms, including head and neck pain: Tenderness and sensitivity around the head, neck and ears, sparks lots of conversation on MyFibroTeam.
“I can’t put any pressure at the base of my skull so I have to sleep on very flat pillows,” reported one member. Others use “pillows that fit the curve of their necks,” or “three under the knees and feet.” One woman said her bed feels like “laying on bricks.” “I sleep better in my recliner,” she added.
Some MyFibroTeam members report excessive sweating during sleep. “Every night, my T-shirts are drenched,” wrote one member. Another uses “towels on top of the sheets.” One member said her night sweats became “less frequent” after buying “cooling pillows and a weightless blanket.” This is definitely something I will cover in another post.
Sleep apnea: Members who snore loudly or feel tired the next day have gotten tested for sleep apnea, a condition which causes breathing to stop and start throughout the night. “I was waking up every three hours and getting just 20 minutes of a deep sleep,” shared one member. “After being diagnosed and treated for sleep apnea, I now sleep eight hours a night. I feel great, have energy, and no pain, headache, or tiredness.” Your doctor can order a sleep study to diagnose the disorder.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): Members also report having this sleep disorder, which involves involuntary leg movements. “Muscle relaxers really helped my excruciating spasms, back pain, and insomnia,” shared one man. Another member said: “Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) helps a little but the heating pad is really my best friend.”
After reading the above symptoms which so many Fibro sufferers have to deal with its no surprise that many of us have difficulty in sleeping. Of course, I am sure most of us would have tried over the counter prescriptions like Nytol/ Herbal Sleep Supplements or melatonin and prescription medications like Amitriptyline and Nortriptyline which seem to work for a while then wear off.
The latest trend for helping you sleep is Medical marijuana : Cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD), used alone or in combination with other remedies (prescribed by their doctors), which MyFibroTeam says have helped many members manage fibro insomnia. “I’ve been using CBD oil for three months. The pain is much better and I’m finally sleeping at night,” said one woman. Others report that cannabis helps them fall asleep, but not stay asleep. “I chew one gummy and get about three hours of sleep, max,” explained another member.
I’d love to hear from any fibro sufferer if this really does help with their sleep.
I am trying different pillow sprays at the moment and I am having great success with one in particular called Ease by Grass & Co which has orange, eucalyptus and ginger in it. I will write an article on the different pillow sprays next Sleep Sunday as I feel this could be the way forward for many of us without having to rely on medication to help us sleep.