Getting sleep is difficult for those of us with fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses. The little sleep we do get is often times not quality sleep. And it’s essential for hurting bodies to get sleep in order to restore the body and lower pain levels. Here are 13 tips for quality sleep so you can break the sleep-pain cycle.
Quality vs Quantity
In order to understand why you need quality sleep over the quantity of sleep, it’s important to know the difference between quality and quantity. Quality of sleep is a type of sleep. For example, restful or restless. Quantity of sleep is the number of hours of sleep you get each night. They are drastically different, but both work together for restorative sleep leaving you to feel well-rested the next day.
Effects of Poor Sleep
Often times someone with fibromyalgia will not get the restorative sleep needed to face a day with chronic pain. The sleep achieved is usually the light stages of sleep and not the REM stage of sleep which is also the restorative stage. This is poor sleep. Poor sleep causes an increase in body pains and symptoms. The increase of pain and symptoms results in poor sleep resulting in the sleep-pain cycle.
Some common symptoms of a lack of sleep include:
- increased pains
- weight gain
- lowered immune system
13 Tips for Quality Sleep
Here are some tips for quality sleep as well as the quantity of sleep.
- Reserve your bedroom to sleep and intimacy. Removing your television, computer, and other stimulants out of the bedroom will help you get your body undisturbed sleep. If these items are in your room, your brain is aware they are in the room and it will disrupt your sleep.
- Avoid screen time one hour prior to bedtime. The lights from screens will stimulate your brain preventing sleep.
- Use essential oils. Essential oils have a myriad of uses including the ability to achieve better sleep. Check this complete guide to using essentials oils before going to sleep.
- If you lie awake longer than fifteen minutes, leave the bedroom and find a quiet non-stimulating activity. This could be reading under a soft light in the living room or flipping through a magazine. Avoid screen time because it will stimulate your brain keeping you awake.
- Have the right mattress. Having the right mattress for your body’s needs will not only increase your sleep but will also lower body pains.
- If you have a clock with LED lights, turn the clock away from the bed. This prevents the LED light from stimulating the part of the brain that allows you to sleep.
- When exercising, use caution, but increase your heart rate. This will increase your serotonin with aids in sleeping.
- Correct pillow. Having the right pillow also ensures a night of good sleep and eases back pain.
- – 13. Healthy Sleep Tips from the National Sleep Foundation.