Fibromyalgia and Sleep: Strategies for Better Rest

As any Fibromyalgia Pain Specialist will tell you: “Getting a good night’s sleep is a critical part of managing daily pain & preventing flare-ups. But all that pain can also make it harder to fall asleep, & let’s not forget about fibro’s sinister symptom of insomnia” [1]

So let’s take a quick dive into five different tips for getting the restful healing sleep you need:

Tip No 1: Say No to Alcohol & Stimulants Late in the Day

Countless sodas, coffee, tea and chocolate, contain caffeine – a substance which works as an enemy of a great night’s sleep. So to begin with, from 5pm each day, try to cut down on the number of coffees you’re drinking, and substitute them with water or fruit tea. Then, later down the line, if you’re successful, try lowering the number of sodas as well. Moreover, when it comes to alcohol, you have to understand that it is a depressant. – So although you may fall asleep more easily; when the morning arrives, you are unlikely to feel fresh and vibrant [1].

Tip No 2: Sleep in a Quiet, Well Ventilated, Dark Room

Ensure that your bedroom is tranquil, comfortable, and well-aired, and that all electronic devices are turned off. You may also like to use an aromatherapy diffuser with a few drops of lavender oil. – This will help you de-stress, and enjoy a deep sleep. If you would like advice on the type of mattress you should use, ask you Pain Doctor [1].

Tip No 3: Take a Relaxing Bath or Shower Before Bedtime

Fibromyalgia means being more sensitive to cold temperatures. – So in winter time it’s a good idea to have a hot shower or bath just before bedtime. – That way, you unwind, and relax your muscles. Conversely, when summer hits, a cooler shower or bath can be just the ticket, as it makes you feel less tense [1].

Tip No 4: Ask Your Pain Doctor About Sleep Medication

“Night after night of insomnia is a recipe for a major flare-up,” [1], so when you discuss your symptoms with your Pain Consultant, be sure to give them a detailed account of your sleep pattern. (You can do this by keeping a daily ‘Sleep Diary’ with hourly slots, all of which can be filled out the next morning).

Tip No 5: Practice Light Stretching

In order to help relax your tense muscles, practice gentle, comfortable, light stretching, (including simple, easy yoga stretches). Be sure to take deep breaths as you ‘breathe in ease’, and ‘breathe out disease’ [1]. Note: Your Pain Specialist will tell you if you have any contraindications to different types of stretches.


[1]. Vieira, G. (2017). “10 Tips for Sleeping Well With Fibromyalgia.” Health Central.

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