I hope that your day is going well. I just listened to an interview by fibromyalgia specialist Dr. Richard DiCenso about the problems of insomnia with fibrmyalgia patients. He said that as we try to relax, the Beta phase actually INCREASES our pain sensitivity! He said while we’re being active, watching TV or what ever activity you do while your awake, you’re distracting your mind from your pain. When you try to relax without taking the proper steps to quickly get to an Alpha state, your mind has nothing to concentrate on but the pain it’s feeling. Obviously the pain makes it harder to go to sleep and with most FMS sufferers, the lack of sleep makes our pain and other symptoms worse immediately as well as the next day.
Here’s some tips that Dr. DiCenso recommends to promote a healthier sleep pattern. Before bed, take a hot epsom salt bath. 1/4 a cup in as hot of water as you can stand will help your muscles release lactic acid and increase the oxygen levels. Do not drink ANY alcohol at least 3 hours before bed. While alcohol is initially a sedative, as it’s sedative affects wear off it becomes a stimulant which interrupts sleep. Turn off the TV and computer or other forms of mental stimulation at least 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep. Put lavender oil on your pillow or diffuse it in your bedroom, it calms the nervous system. About 15 minutes before bed, start deep abdominal breathing combined with positive affirmations or meditation. He also recommends using a meditation and sleep rhythm CD, he has some available but there are plenty on the market. I’ve been using a sleep CD for years but currently am still having to use sleep medication also. My goal is to gradually ween myself off the sleep medication and hopefully some of Dr. DiCenso’s suggestions will help me do this.
I hope you have found this information helpful. Please share my blog with anyone that you feel it may benefit. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at (540) 366-6134.
Here’s To Feeling Better!