Posts Tagged ‘Gentle Stretching’

Fibromyalgia Pain at Night

July 21, 2009

Fibromyalgia Pain at Night – 10 Tips for Better Sleep
WebMD Feature By Jeanie Lerche Davis

Do you toss and turn at night because of fibromyalgia pain or discomfort?

“People with fibromyalgia tend to have very disturbed sleep,” says Doris Cope, MD, director of Pain Management at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Even if they sleep 10 hours a night, they still feel fatigued, don’t feel rested.”

Research shows that with fibromyalgia, there is an automatic arousal in the brain during sleep. Frequent disruptions prevent the important restorative processes from occurring. Growth hormone is mostly produced during sleep. Without restorative sleep and the surge of growth hormone, muscles don’t heal and neurotransmitters (like the mood chemical serotonin) are not replenished. The lack of a good night’s sleep makes people with fibromyalgia wake up feeling tired and fatigued.

The result: The body can’t recuperate from the day’s stresses — all of which overwhelms the system, creating a great sensitivity to pain. Widespread pain, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and memory difficulties are all symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Insomnia takes many forms — trouble falling asleep, waking up often during the night, having trouble going back to sleep, and waking up too early in the morning. Smoothing out those sleep problems — and helping people get the deep sleep their bodies need — helps fibromyalgia pain improve significantly, research shows.

Medications can help enhance sleep and relieve pain. But doctors also advocate lifestyle changes to help sleep come naturally.

Tips to Get Better Sleep With Fibromyalgia

Creating a comfort zone at home is key to better sleep, whether you have fibromyalgia or not. It’s all about easing into bedtime feeling relaxed — and staying relaxed so you sleep through the night.

These 10 tips can help people sleep better:

* Enjoy a soothing (warm) bath in the evening.
* Brush your body with a loofah or long-handled brush in the bath.
* Ease painful tender points with a self-massage device (like a tennis ball).
* Do yoga and stretching exercises to relax.
* Listen to calming music.
* Meditate to tame intrusive thoughts and tension.
* Sleep in a darkened room. Try an eye mask if necessary.
* Keep the room as quiet as possible (or use a white-noise machine).
* Make sure the room temperature is comfortable.
* Avoid foods that contain caffeine, including teas, colas, and chocolate.

Therapies to Treat Insomnia When You Have Fibromyalgia

If you’re still having sleep problems, several therapies can help, including biofeedback, relaxation training, stress reduction, and cognitive therapy. A psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders can discuss these therapies with you.

The therapies help people handle stress better, which helps control fibromyalgia episodes, Cope says. “Fibromyalgia comes and goes,” she tells WebMD. “When you’re stressed out, that’s when it’s worse.” That’s when you’re most likely to have insomnia, too.

Medications can also help ease fibromyalgia pain at night, or directly treat insomnia. Medications to ease fibromyalgia at night include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, prescription pain relievers, and sleep aids.

No one therapy will control fibromyalgia pain 100%, Cope adds.

“Medications help some. Exercise helps some. Stress reduction helps some. Cognitive behavior therapy helps some… If you can get restful sleep, you’re going to function better when you’re awake.”

Source: WebMD

What do I do?

May 30, 2009

For my fibromyalgia, I currently take the following Medications/supplements

  • Multi-vitamin – Naturapathy Dr does not recommend Centrum or most pharmacy brand multi’s
  • Calcium & Magnesium with vitamin D – Calcium cuz Women with Endo are more susceptible to Osteoporosis. Mg & D to help absorb the Calcium. The Magnesium also to help with muscle spasms & charlie horses. I have found that it has helped.
  • Fish oils – Generic fish oils, minimum 1000mg a day .. Well, I try to. Naturapathy Dr recommended 1000mg-3000mg daily of the EPA+DHA to help with mental acuity. I’m still waiting for the fog to lift, but I’m not usually getting enough to impact because I fog up & forget.. Lovely catch 22 there.
  • B complex to help with stress and ensure that I get enough B’s. No, I don’t take a stress formula. Just a normal B complex.. either 50mg or 100mg
  • Codeine Contin for maintenance pain.
  • Tylenol #3 for breakthrough pain
  • Oxycodone for severe breakthrough pain
  • Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) as a muscle relaxer. I find it better than anything OTC..
  • Probiotics to help regulate my digestive track – it works, ‘cept when I have an IBS flare or food sensitivity
  • NSAID, but it’s for my Endometriosis, so I don’t really know if it does impact my FMS or not.

For my fibromyalgia, I currently participate in the following exercise:

  • Aqua-fit, really carefully – I’m just getting back into exercise, so I am trying to get to the gentle classes. My local YMCA gym has a class or arthritics and for osteoporosis. Aqua-fit is a good choice because of the buoyancy of the water, it doesn’t impact my knees, and it’s a gentle cardio
  • Seriously, right now that’s it. I need access to a hot tub to do further exercise to keep my body warm.

For my fibromyalgia, I intend to return to the following exercises:

  • Yoga with the hot tub – Yoga provides gentle stretching while working on core strength and balance. The hot tub helps to keep muscles relaxed afterward.
  • Keeping up with Aqua-fit – see above 🙂
  • Walking the track to music with the hot tub – I got into walking when my nieces were born, walking with my sister. After I joined the Y and my nephew was born, I would take him in his stroller to walk him around the track. He’s too old now, but I have found it enjoyable with my MP3 player (or CD player back then). I sometimes dance a little bit and my pace changes with the music I’m listening to. It’s hard to overexert myself. 🙂 The hot tub helps to keep muscles relaxed afterward.

A benefit from the exercise is that I tend to be tired out afterward and relaxed. This makes evening workouts ideal in that I go home, go straight to bed and will sleep well, with a decent amount of healing rest. This improves me, physically, emotionally and mentally for the next day.

For my fibromyalgia. my spiritual side is limited. I don’t go to church often, however I do find solace in my home church’s sanctuary. I’ve moved away from my home church and have yet to try out the sanctuary here. I also find the same ‘state of grace’ from music, especially my churchy music 🙂

For my fibromyalgia, because of my physical limitation, I am limited socially. Most of my social interaction is via the internet on Twitter, Facebook, Email, etc.. The alternative to that in real life is with my SO and his friends. Most of my friends no longer talk to me, or are too far away for more than email. The classes as the Y present a new socialization source, which I hope to be helpful. With the improvement of my health I would like to return to scouting in some sort of part-time or limited capacity.

For my fibromyalgia and my cognitive abilities, I am starting this blog. It will help keep me thinking and requires research. It also provides a creative outlet. I also enjoy doing word searches and have, on recommendation on my therapist, started to colour and have other crafts options available to me.

For my fibromyalgia and an emotional aspect, I have a councilor and have been placed on anti-depressants. While my time with her is limited I do find that I feel better after I speak with her. Additionally I have the support with my SO. While sometimes he can not understand and becomes frustrated, I know he only has best intentions where I am concerned.

How do I cope? Not well. Other than the limited exercise mentioned above, the odd screaming match and the rarer still church visit, I have no real outlets.. Which sucks. Before I got sick, my outlets for frustration and anger and stress were physical. With the fibro, I have lost that. Any suggestions are welcome 🙂