"The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more."
As funny as Mizener's quote is, sleep is no laughing matter for those of us with Chronic Illness. Sleep is the "make it or break it" for Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia. If I can get nine hours of shuteye, tomorrow will be bearable; if I'm suffering from painsomnia and miss out on even one hour, I already know tomorrow is going to be the worst. Ugh...
Before my diagnosis, I had the vitality of the energizer bunny. I could sleep for six hours and handle weekly business trips and back-to-back meetings with no problem. In fact, I found my busy schedule invigorating! Being constantly on the move was a big part of my identity; I worked hard and I played hard.
Today, I can't even imagine what it feels like to wake up energized... those days feel like a lifetime ago. I never realized how important sleep is until my diagnosis. So after much trial and flare, I've created a list of nine tips that give me the best chance of having a restful night's sleep.
Food affects sleep
No sugar or spicy food past 8pm. When I do over indulge, it feels like ants are crawling up and down my body- enough to wake me up and have to take more meds to put the ants to sleep.
Keep it cold
I'm talking 71 degrees, even in the winter. I've got my heating pad nearby if I need it.
100% cotton comfy pajamas
This is an easy and affordable must-have. I need something soft that feels pure and clean on my skin and allows my body to breathe.
Doxipine is the one thing I cannot live without. It helps me get an undisturbed night of sleep and I LOVE that it's in liquid form so i can regulate my dosage depending on my schedule.
Treat yo self!
An Egyptian cotton comforter and a satin pillowcase- you won't regret the investment. Remember, we spend one third of our lives in our beds and we deserve this!
Pitch black bedroom
This is a non-negotiable; no alarm clocks or flashing devices, my spidey senses can't block them out.
Easy on the alcohol
Booze will definitely ruin a good night's sleep, I know. But hey, a girl needs a dirty martini every now and then!
I keep the smells very light because of my spidey senses so just a couple drops of lavender are ok with me. Lavender is a natural muscle relaxer and stress reliever which helps to soothe inflammation. Sounds nice, huh?
"Leave the phone at the door."
While dealing with painsomnia, all I want to do is Netflix and chill but unfortunately I've learned that's the worst thing I can do. *Sad Face* To quiet my mind and let my body know it's time to rest, I take this advice from Arianna Huffington's book, The Sleep Revolution and keep the devices out of the bedroom.
What are your tips for a successful sleep? I would love to see them shared in the comments below.
"Me vs. Fibromyalgia" is a biweekly, one-of-a-kind series designed to give readers and warriors affected by Fibromyalgia a comprehensive look into the facts of the disease and the story of a driven, high-achieving business woman who wouldn't take no for an answer. I've chronicled eight years of experience with Fibro including chronic pain and fatigue, low energy, doctors, relationships and more, and hope to offer answers and support to those who seek them.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. All information presented should be regarded as friendly advice and opinions based on my own experience and research. I am not making an attempt to prescribe any medical treatment and the information contained in this blog is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a doctor or qualified health practitioner.
Click here to read my last post, SPECIAL EDITION -- Marshall Field V: 6 Tips on Chronic Pain