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Disturbed sleep patterns are very commonly noted in fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients and they will contribute to the worsening of pain.

There are many theories proposed for this and it often reflects disturbances in the nerve signaling in the brain which can lead to more permanent alterations in the nerve fibres that control and regulate sleep.

This often leads to a breakdown in sleep cycles and unrefreshed sleep thus starting the cascade.

What is important to remember that ultimately your thoughts and emotions will control your behaviors and especially closer to bedtime, they can have a major impact on your sleep.

Your daily habits and the food you eat and the medications can significantly impact your quality of sleep. Even a few gentle tweaks to these factors can make the difference between sound sleep and a sleepless night.

Insomnia, alternating patterns of sleep, Restless Leg Syndrome, snoring and teeth grinding are all noted in patients with FM and so sleep hygiene is very important and should be “prescribed”.


What would a prescribed healthy sleep hygiene be like?

The term “sleep hygiene” refers to a series of healthy sleep habits that can improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. These habits are a cornerstone of cognitive behavioral therapy, the most effective long-term treatment for people with chronic insomnia.

CBT can help you address the thoughts and behaviors that prevent you from sleeping well. It also includes techniques for stress reduction, relaxation and sleep schedule management. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends the following sleep tips and it is worth looking at whether it is possible to introduce some of these tips in your daily life with the help of someone supportive.

AASM Sleep Tips

  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations.

  • Set a bedtime that aims to give you atleast 7 hours of sleep.

  • Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy. If you are not sleepy then get out of bed.

  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.

  • Use your bed only for sleep and sex.

  • Make your bedroom quiet, dark and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.

  • Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings.

  • Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Use the apps or natie blue light filter on most android and apple devices to put on the blue light filter.

  • Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack.

  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.

  • Avoid consuming caffeine at least 8 hrs before expected bedtime.

  • Avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime.

  • Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.

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