Dealing With Sleep Issues For Those With Fibromyalgia

Sleep Issues

Sleep Issues
Sleep Issues

Dealing With Sleep Issues For Those With Fibromyalgia

One of the issues associated with fibromyalgia is difficulty with sleep. Whether it is due to chronic muscle pain or depressive symptoms, people with fibromyalgia often struggle with being able to get to sleep and having a restful night’s sleep. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to improve the quantity and quality of sleep in those who suffer from fibromyalgia.

Here are some tips for better sleep when dealing with fibromyalgia:

  • Sleep with a heating pad. The heating pad should be set on a low setting to avoid burning the skin and can be placed anywhere on the body that hurts the most to loosen the muscles and relieve pain while you sleep.
  • Go to sleep at the same time every night. You should go to sleep at the same time every night, getting up at the same time every morning. This trains your brain to sleep at the proper time and helps you sleep better.
  • Use a noise machine. If sleeping in a quiet room is too distracting, you can sleep with a white noise machine to induce sleep and to keep you sleeping throughout the night. Some of these machines will go on all night, while others will shut off at a prescribed period of time. They also make machines that mimic the sounds of the ocean, rain, or a babbling brook.
  • Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. This tends to make it more difficult to fall asleep. Instead, eat a small snack to bring up your blood sugar as low blood sugar can interfere with sleep. Large meals should be eaten about 3-4 hours before sleeping so that digestion doesn’t interfere with sleep.
  • Don’t drink alcohol before sleeping. Alcohol is a depressant but it also reduces your ability to get a good night’s sleep. You should have your last alcoholic beverage no sooner than four hours before attempting to go to bed.
  • Don’t drink caffeinated beverages before sleep. Caffeinated beverages act as stimulants that interfere with getting to sleep and staying asleep. Do not drink caffeinated beverages within four hours of trying to get to sleep.
  • Avoid heavy exercise before sleeping. Exercise is activating and can interfere with getting to sleep if you exercise too soon before trying to sleep. If you exercise with fibromyalgia, you should do so about 5-6 hours before falling asleep. Exercise creates energy in the body, and so it’s best to give your body a chance to settle down before getting to sleep. Calming exercises like yoga are okay as they can actually promote sleepiness.
  • A warm bath with calming essential oils like lavender right before bedtime, and especially as part of a nightly ritual can work as a trigger to train the brain to know it’s bedtime helping you find the rest you need so much.
  • Practice meditation. Meditation can be done before sleep to relax the muscles, ease pain, and reduce stress before going to sleep. Meditation also helps lessen the perception of pain in those who suffer from fibromyalgia and can be done at other times of the day besides bedtime for stress relief.
  • Use your bed for sleep and sex only. Do not read in bed or watch television while you are in bed. This only activates your mind and allows you to associate your bed with things other than sleeping.

What To Do If You Still Cannot Sleep

Nothing is worse than lying in bed, suffering from pain, and being unable to sleep. When you have fibromyalgia, however, this is what some nights are like, even with the best of sleep hygiene and stress reduction. 

If you can’t get to sleep after a half hour or so of trying, you should get out of bed, use the restroom, and perhaps read a little bit. This will take your mind off the stress of not being able to get to sleep and you can use this time to get a little bit more tired. Do not do this in bed but in another room in the house. 

When you feel tired again, try to go back to sleep, using meditation if necessary to put you in a frame of mind to sleep. Meditation can be used whenever you are having difficulty sleeping because, when done in a tired state, it can induce sleep and you will sleep more restfully.

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How Deep Breathing Can Help Improve Your Immune System

How Deep Breathing Can Help Improve Your Immune System

Improve Your Immune System
Improve Your Immune System

Improve Your Immune System

One of the greatest threats to the efficiency of the immune system is stress. Stress is sometimes referred to as the “fight or flight” response or you could say the “deer in the headlights” look or thought process or lack thereof. In stress, you can think too much and stop breathing properly as a result. Breathe and deep breathing helps make everything work in the human body.

We cannot function without breathing and the oxygen that it carries with it. The better the air quality and the deeper you breathe the more you can help your immune system work properly. Teaching yourself to routinely deep breathe can improve your overall immune system.

How Deep Breathing Helps The Immune System

Every hour, every day, and every year cells regenerate, and cannot regenerate without oxygen. Breathing is the fastest and most efficient way for our bodies to get oxygen. Deep breathing helps our immune system regenerate cells in order to fight infection and any other ailments that try to bring our bodies down.

When you deep breathe, you stop the fight or flight from happening in your body and mind. Taking a deep breath allows you to think and move forward with your day. Deep breathing helps keep you strong to make money, exercise, love, and carry on with life.

Exercise Requires Oxygen Needed For The Best Immune System

There is no hiding the fact that exercise helps keep the immune system strong. The oxygen and deep breathing that exercise forces you to do is part of what helps keep you strong. Although twenty to forty-five minutes of exercise is healthy, just deep breathing during the day can also help you maintain a healthy mindset.

By simply deep breathing through your nose or mouth, seven times a day can greatly increase the efficiency of your immune system.

Yoga, Pilates, and meditation are excellent practices to help you deep breathe. People are living longer and are staying stronger. Yoga, Pilates, and meditation are not just trends, they really do help you breathe deep and improve your immune system.

Certain things cannot grow where there is oxygen. This is why one of the latest dental trends is an air pick. The more oxygen you can get under your gum line, the less bacteria will grow. Deep breathing through your mouth will help fight the bacteria that can easily grow in your mouth.

Deep Breathing Helps Digestion

The food we eat and the water we drink help to keep our immune system strong. Breathing deep will help our overall digestion system, which is extremely important to the health of our immunity. Our immune system is working all the time for us, but it is not until we get sick that we think about it.

If you maintain a healthy lifestyle, exercise, eat whole foods, sleep, and incorporate deep breathing into your daily life, you can help to maintain a healthy immune system that will not have to work overtime.

Deep Breathing Helps Carry Toxins From The Body

One of the functions of the immune system is to eliminate toxins from the body. Deep breathing helps the immune system do just that. Every day we can be exposed to viruses and other bacterium that is floating through the air and that we breathe in. A strong immune system will help when you go to places like work or stores when you cannot control the quality of the air you breathe.

Final Thoughts

Deep breathing is a very simple practice you can adopt to help your immune system. The best part is that you can breathe deeply anywhere and anytime, it is free and takes very little time and effort to reap its many benefits.

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Tips To Improve Your Emotional And Mental State When Living With Chronic Pain

Tips To Improve Your Emotional And Mental State When Living With Chronic Pain

Improve Your Emotional And Mental State
Improve Your Emotional And Mental State

Improve Your Emotional And Mental State

Dealing with chronic pain can exact a toll on your emotional and mental state of being. You may be constantly stressed by your pain and may even suffer from depression because the pain is affecting all areas of your life and your ability to do the normal activities of daily living.

There are ways to improve your emotional and mental state when you are living with chronic pain. Here are some tips that may help you:

  • Use a heating blanket. Chronic pain is often made worse when you are exposed to the cold. If you snuggle under a heating blanket, especially with a good book, you can lift your spirits and improve your emotional state. When you are more comfortable, you think less of your chronic pain and can feel emotionally better.
  • Have a massage. Make sure the massage therapist knows you are dealing with chronic pain and ask them to give you a gentle massage. Massages are known to reduce pain and decrease stress levels. When you are more comfortable and have been properly pampered, you will feel better physically and emotionally.
  • Practice yoga. Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that is good for people who have chronic pain just as much as it is good for people who do not have chronic pain. Choose a style of yoga, such as Hatha yoga, that is gentle on your joints and the rest of your body. The practice of yoga will relax you and will make you feel better on a physical and emotional level.
  • Positive affirmations. Use positive affirmations to reprogram your mind towards a positive mindset. Affirmations can help you accept your life as it is and this means more peace of mind and a better quality of life.
  • Practice qi gong. This is another ancient form of exercise brought to the West from ancient China. Initially a form of martial arts, it is a good form of exercise for people who have chronic pain. It involves smooth, fluid movements and is simple enough that anyone can learn it and it can even be practiced by those who cannot even get out of bed because of their pain. It is known to reduce stress and improve emotional health.
  • Attend a support group. Many large hospitals and HMOs have support groups for people who have chronic pain and other maladies. When you can share your story of chronic pain with others and get support around dealing with chronic pain, you feel better and you know that you are not alone in your struggle with pain.
  • Practice meditation. Mediation requires no physical activity at all and can be done sitting up or lying down. While focusing on relaxing your muscles and controlling your breath, your stress level goes way down and you feel more relaxed. This results in less thought about your chronic pain and more inner peace. The best part about mediation is that anyone can learn it and it can be done just about anywhere.
  • See a therapist or counselor. When you are dealing with chronic pain, it often causes depression and anxiety. These things can easily be managed when you find a compassionate therapist who can hear your concerns about the pain you are experiencing and can help you devise coping skills that can be practiced on a daily basis to improve your spirits and enhance your mental health.
  • Think about an antidepressant. See your doctor about taking an antidepressant if you are suffering from chronic pain and it is effecting your mental and emotional state. Some of the older, antidepressants, called tricyclic antidepressants, have been found to be useful for people who have pain issues as well as depressive issues. Even some of the newer SSRI antidepressants have been successfully used by people with chronic pain in order to relieve underlying depression associated with having pain every day.
  • Practice Tai chi. This is an ancient form of Chinese martial arts. It is now a practice mainly used for healing. It involves doing fluid movements in tune with your breath and has been known to reduce stress, improve balance, and improve perceptions of pain in those who are dealing with chronic pain.

Read more about it in this great book.

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