Tips for Coping with Fibromyalgia and Insomnia
If you are working full-time, switch to part-time or quit altogether, if possible. Get out of the "rat race!" Most fibromyalgia suffers are high achieving, high-energy people. Don't overload yourself with time commitments that will cause you stress later. Learn to say "NO" and allow yourself to relax.
Get Plenty of Sunlight or Daylight
If you work indoors, go outside for breaks. If you are at home during the day, open the curtain and turn on the lights.
The flickering light of your computer screen can bring on rapid worsening of fibromyalgia! Use bright lights in the room to offset this effect. Certain spectrums of light are harmful to people who are more light sensitive than others. Research is being done on the effect of light on the pineal gland - the gland which produces melatonin necessary for sleep. Flickering light has been proven to cause changes in the EEG patterns in the brain. Researchers are experimenting with flickering light therapy to help fibromyalgia patients by restructuring EEG patterns!
Overcoming insomnia greatly improves fibromyalgia symptoms. You can try either melatonin or 5-HTP for restorative sleep at night with no "hangover" the next day.
Let your mind unwind in the evening. Listen to soft, soothing music. Avoid mentally stimulating activities such as intense conversations, balancing the checkbook, doing serious study or getting yourself into a "hurrying" mode for any reason. Do calming things like ironing (leisurely) or enjoy some light reading (not mystery thrillers or highly technical material). The brain has an arousal mechanism that once you get it going, it's hard to slow it down. Some people can stay extremely active and animated until the very minute they fall asleep; however, people with FMS are generally not able to do this.
If possible, take 10-30 minutes after lunch to lie down and rest. You don't have to sleep--just slow your mind down and think peaceful thoughts. If you are unable to lie down, put your head down on your desk or o to a quiet place and just close your eyes and breathe deeply. Some fibromyalgia sufferers have to lie down and rest for a short time every couple of hours to get through the day.
A cold gel pack stored in the refrigerator or freezer can be applied to the back of the neck when you're lying down. This has a way of slowing down one's thoughts and bringing on a quieter mood.
Sometimes a warm or hot bath can relieve the stiffness and soreness of fibromyalgia for awhile, perhaps by increasing circulation to muscle tissue. Sometimes a heat pack feels good on a cold day and is very relaxing. Try a hot bath followed by a cold gel pack on the back of the neck and some soft music when you retire.
Some researchers believe that the ROOT of the fibromyalgia problem lies in our own immune systems! Some believe that mycoplasmas (mutated viruses and bacteria) and biological warfare are possible causes of the present worldwide epidemic of fibromyalgia.
Try not to be completely sedentary. Your cells detoxify better when you are physically active. Walk and stretch a little, but not to the point of worsening the pain. Some FMS patients have also benefitted from warm-water aerobics. A wonderful thing for many people who take either OPC's or other products I found, is that when their FMS pain diminishes, they can go back to normal activities.
There are multiple options in the treatment of this condition using vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements. I have listed them below in order of clinical importance. I have used these in clinical practice and have found their use to be very effective in the management of this condition. The supplements listed here are for "informational purposes" only. You should consult with a qualified health care provider for proper diagnosis and treatment of any health condition. You may also consult with me at www.HealthyLifeDoctors.com.
Healthy Life Hypothalamex
Healthy Life Dessicated
Healthy Life Thytrophin