Fibromyalgia is a painful condition associated with fatigue and cognitive difficulties. Much is still unknown about Fibromyalgia and researchers are hard at work to learn more about it. Infection or physical or emotional trauma can bring about Fibromyalgia symptoms and you may be more likely to develop it if you have family members who have it. It can negatively affect many areas of the patient’s life.
The widespread and chronic pain Fibromyalgia sufferers experience can make it extremely difficult to get adequate sleep. Lack of sleep can also result in increased pain during waking hours, which further affects sleep. This cycle of Fibromyalgia complications is extremely frustrating and debilitating.
Lack of sleep and chronic fatigue can have negative effects on your career. If you are not performing as well as you would like, your coworkers or boss may be hard on you. Because Fibromyalgia is still relatively misunderstood, talking about your condition or your pain may not have any effect on those you work with. This can result in increased anxiety or depression. Anxiety over career and health is another factor in preventing Fibromyalgia patients from sleeping well.
Fibromyalgia may also occur with several other painful conditions such as:
- Painful bladder syndrome
- Migraines and headaches
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Painful menstruation
Even if you are able to control the pain directly associated with your Fibromyalgia, the pain from these co-occurring conditions can still disrupt deep sleep and cause severe daytime fatigue.
This fatigue can also make it difficult to be active or exercise. Exercise has been shown to help improve sleep and elevate mood. Lack of exercise or physical exertion may also affect your sleep if you have Fibromyalgia. Motivating yourself to take a walk or jog a short distance may help with your sleep patterns.
Fibromyalgia is a vicious cycle of pain, lack of sleep, fatigue, and more pain. Sleep aids may work for you, but they should not be depended on fully. Behavioral changes in conjunction with traditional medications and massage therapy can drastically improve pain in Fibromyalgia patients. It is important that you and your doctor discuss what treatment plan is best for your lifestyle, specific case of Fibromyalgia, and sleep needs. Getting adequate sleep can reduce pain and allow your body to recover. Your doctor is your most important resource for improving the duration and quality of your sleep.