Last month, we reported some exciting news about the link between fibromyalgia (FM) and the importance of sleep, particularly getting to the deep sleep stage. However, we did not discuss the various strategies that YOU can use to improve your quality of sleep. Let’s take a look!
Establishing a consistent and better sleep pattern is essential in managing the complex symptoms associated with fibromyalgia (FM). By doing so, you may experience reductions in pain, fatigue, and “fibro fog.” Think of a flashlight. As the batteries wear down, the light becomes progressively dimmer and soon goes out. To recharge our batteries, we must sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), at least 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders, and 60% of adults report having problems sleeping a few nights per week or more. Also, more than 40% of adults have daytime sleepiness that interferes with activities of daily living, and nearly 70% of children in a study reported they had problems sleeping at least one night a week. The “bottom line” is WE MUST SLEEP to be healthy!
Remember, the goal is to get at least four hours of continuous sleep in order to reach the deep sleep stage. If this is not accomplished over time, the intensity of the FM symptoms can increase.
The management of FM is best when approached from multiple directions: nutrition, exercise (especially aerobic), many of the 10 “tips” described above, and care rendered by a “team” of healthcare providers from disciplines such as chiropractic, massage therapy, and primary care. Because FM is complex with no single cause, a multi-directed treatment approach seems to work best. Remember, doctors of chiropractic focus on structure, exercise, nutrition, and whole-body health. They also work with other health professionals on a regular basis when managing the needs of their patients.