Embracing the Night: My Journey to Conquer Sleep with Fibromyalgia

Embracing the Night: My Journey to Conquer Sleep with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Sleep Help

Finding the right rhythm to dance with sleep when you live with fibromyalgia is like trying to choreograph a ballet in a room without gravity. It’s been over 2 years since I began this intricate dance of medications, sleep studies, and strict bedtime routines. And let me tell you, it’s been nothing short of a journey paved with patience, persistence, and a few too many sleepless nights.

Fibromyalgia Managing Fibromyalgia Sleep Medication

Let me take you back to the beginning, about nine months of trial and error, to be precise. That’s how long it took to find the right combination of medications to help turn off the part of my brain that’s perpetually ready for a fight-or-flight marathon. If you’re nodding along, you might know the feeling — like sleeping with one eye open or waking up as tired as when you hit the pillow.

Sleep Study Experience

Then came the sleep study, an intimate tango with a watch that tracked every toss and turns for a month. The data was eye-opening; seeing the breakdown of my sleep stages was like reading a story where the hero never entirely managed to save the day. So, I invested in my watch, a vigilant sidekick in my quest to improve the elusive deep sleep.

Sleep Routines for Chronic Illness

But here’s where the plot thickens: the sleep routine. Imagine setting an unyielding schedule for sleep and wake times — yes, even on weekends. That meant leaving gatherings early and starting my bedtime ritual an hour and a half before my head would grace the pillow. It sounds like a party pooper’s manifesto, but it was my ticket to dreamland.

What did this ritual involve? Picture this: no buzzing electronics. Instead, my living room transformed into a serene space for low-impact exercises, transitioning from yoga to gentle stretches, followed by a tranquil meditation. The final act was thirty minutes of dimmed lights, a dose of vitamins and medication, and losing myself in the pages of a book until my eyelids begged for mercy.

It wasn’t just a routine; it was a commitment. A commitment that meant temporary evenings apart from my partner, missing out on nighttime laughs, and the occasional feeling of FOMO. But here’s the kicker — it worked. After about nine months, my internal clock wasn’t just ticking; it sang harmoniously.

Fast forward a year and a half later, and my nights are no longer solo acts. I have more flexibility with my sleep hours and no longer need the isolation to find my snooze. But don’t be fooled; it’s a delicate balance. The moment you skip a beat, the whole routine can come tumbling down.

Managing Fibromyalgia

So, here’s a piece of heartfelt advice: Keep your nighttime routine sacred. Power down those screens an hour before bed and indulge in activities that bathe your mind in calmness. This is not a time for planning or ticking off to-dos. This is your time to unwind, to let go, and to prepare for the rest that you deserve.

Give these few mindful techniques if you are starting your own sleep routine:

  • soft music

  • meditation

  • mindful coloring/painting

  • mindful doodling

  • journaling/art journal

  • yoga

  • stretching

  • low-impact exercises (should only be done if starting your routine an hour and a half before bed and it is your first 30 mins)

  • Progressive muscle relaxation

Sleep, especially with fibromyalgia, is a journey, not a destination. It’s about finding what works for you and sticking to it, even when it feels like you’re swimming upstream. And if you ever feel like you’re struggling alone, remember that there’s a community out here, myself included, paddling along with you. Together, let’s turn our nights into a restful retreat, one peaceful dream at a time.

Chat soon,