Sleep is an essential function to recharge our bodies and minds.
In the early days after my fibromyalgia diagnosis (back in 2000), I remember reading somewhere that Melatonin wasn’t good for auto-immune disorders. Although FMS isn’t an auto-immune disorder, it wasn’t well understood (still isn’t) back in those days, so I never tried it. After researching natural alternatives, I settled on Valerian. It worked for me for many years, but these days it sometimes gives me a foggy feeling in the morning if I take a supplement.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain and fatigue. People with fibromyalgia often have insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or their sleep is often disrupted by pain. People with fibromyalgia may also experience an alteration in their patterns of slow wave sleep, which is the deepest stage of sleep.
Sleep is an essential function1 that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly.
After yet another sleepless night recently, I decided to do look into Melatonin.
Fibro fog manifests itself in different ways, including forgetfulness, difficulty remembering names or where you place an object.
One of the definitions of fog is “something that obscures and confuses a situation or someone’s thought processes.” If you are familiar with the symptoms of fibromyalgia, you might have heard the term “fibro fog” describing those periods where you can’t think right, and sometimes suffer memory loss or have difficulty concentrating. It is a very real thing for us fibrowarriors. I have experienced this feeling more times than I care to admit, and to this day my memory is not as good as it used to be. Continue reading “Cloudy with a Chance of Fibro Fog”
Having Fibromyalgia, I find I quite often don’t sleep well. I can’t fall asleep. Or I can’t stay asleep. Or when I do sleep a few hours, it’s not restful. And I certainly don’t remember my dreams very well. All common issues for those who suffer this condition.
Some nights, despite how tired I may be and how many good habits I use to prepare for bed (hot tea, warm bath, lavender spray…), it seems like I am wide awake once my head hits the pillow and I turn out the lights. My mind will be racing and I just can’t seem to be able to turn it off.
Those are the nights I pull out a little journal from my night stand, and I write down the random thoughts that pop into my head. I just write for as long I can, whatever gibberish I want. And somehow, the process of getting those thoughts out of my head and onto paper helps. I am able to quiet my mind, lie back down, and somehow sleep…per chance to dream.
P. S. Fibromyalgia and sleep troubles are, to me, very much like the chicken and the egg. Which came first? Does lack of sleep and increased fatigue lead to FMS? Or does FMS create the sleep disturbances which then leads to the increased fatigue? Some studies indicate FMS is a by-product of sleep disorders. Seeking out the help of a sleep specialist might then be the cure for a good night’s sleep.
There’s an Irish proverb that goes, “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”
It’s no secret that we live in a world of always-on, information overload. I started this post earlier this week while I was out of town for work, as I was caught up in a self-imposed state of sleep deprivation. Easy to do because: 1) I don’t sleep well when not in my own bed and 2) I am not receiving the evil eye from my husband for spending too much time on my phone or tablet. But yet thanks to our ‘smart’ devices, our attention span is now worse than a goldfish. Smart devices making us dumb and taking us away from precious sleep, both directly and indirectly. So what can we do?