Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia’s impact on sleep

Sleep and fibromyalgia don’t go well together.

Sleep disturbances are very common for sufferers of the condition. While they may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is likely to be light and easily disturbed so when they wake up they feel exhausted or unrested. These sleep disturbances can cause the feeling of constant fatigue and prevent the body from rejuvenation, which in turn leads to increased pain1.

The severe pain of this condition also means it is difficult to sleep. Research shows that the body has a lower tolerance to pain and discomfort with lack of sleep. Fibromyalgia patients must make every effort to minimise sleep disturbance.

Tips for creating a regular sleep routine:

  • Set fixed times for going to bed and waking up
  • Maintain a relaxing bedtime routine
  • Only retire to bed when you feel tired
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol
  • Avoid eating heavy meals late at night

 

How to create the best sleeping environment:

  • Use thick blinds/blackout blinds or wear an eye mask to keep out early morning light or street lamps
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature in your bedroom
  • Use earplugs if there is any noise disturbance
  • Avoid using laptops, watching television, eating, making phone calls or working while you’re in bed
  • Make sure you have a comfortable mattress, pillow and bedding suitable for the time of year

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia's impact on sleep Sleep and fibromyalgia don't go well together. Sleep disturbances are very common for sufferers of the condition. While they may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is likely to be light and easily disturbed so when they wake...

Treating Fibromyalgia

Don't worry, you've got this! There are many options for treating fibromyalgia. It's important to remember that treatment for fibromyalgia will try to ease some of your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life, but there's currently no cure. First Steps Your...

Signs you have Fibromyalgia

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is a widespread pain throughout the body. There may be periods when your symptoms will vary maybe getting worse and then getting...

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

We have learnt about the condition, but now we will explore what causes Fibromyalgia. When your body is in pain, your brain’s the first to know it. Nerve signals travel from the painful spot on your body through your spinal cord to your brain, which interprets these...

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term health condition that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, as well as other symptoms. What is fibromyalgia? You may have heard of it before, but just what is Fibromyalgia? It is the most...
An Introduction Into Circadian Rhythm

An Introduction Into Circadian Rhythm

Have you ever noticed that you tend to feel energised and drowsy around the same times every day?

This is caused by your Circadian Rhythm, but just what is it?

What is a Circadian Rhythm?

Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain. It cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle.

For many, the biggest dip in energy happens in the middle of the night. Somewhere between 2:00am and 4:00am, when you’re usually fast asleep. And just after lunchtime (around 1:00pm to 3:00pm, when you tend to crave an afternoon siesta). Those times can be different if you’re naturally a night owl or a morning person. You also won’t feel the dips and rises of your circadian rhythm as strongly if you’re all caught up on sleep. It’s when you’re sleep-deprived that you’ll notice bigger swings of sleepiness and alertness 1.

What affects my Circadian Rhythm?

A part of your brain called the hypothalamus controls your circadian rhythm. But other factors like lightness and darkness can also impact it.

When it’s dark at night, your eyes send a signal to the hypothalamus that it’s time to feel tired. Your brain, in turn, sends a signal to your body to release melatonin, which makes your body tired. That’s why your circadian rhythm coincides with the cycle of day and night and why it’s so hard for night shift workers to sleep during the day and stay awake at night.

What could help keep my Circadian Rhythm regular?

Your circadian rhythm works best when you have regular sleep habits. When things get in the way, like jet lag, daylight savings time, or a get together that keeps you up into the wee hours of the morning, you can disrupt your circadian rhythm. This is why you can feel out of sorts and can make it harder to pay attention.

If you find it particularly difficult to rise in the morning there are helpful products such as the Lumie Bodyclock that simulate a sunrise to gently wake you from your sleep.

Maybe you are having trouble getting to sleep or want to keep an eye on your nightly sleep pattern, the Beurer SleepExpert Sleep Sensor monitors your sleeping habits  which allows you to identify sleep patterns & take informed measures to tackle them.

Your circadian rhythm will likely change as you get older. And you may not have the same sleep/wake cycle as your partner, child or parents. But the more you pay attention to your body and notice feelings of alertness and drowsiness, and the more time you spend developing good sleeping habits, the better your sleep will be and the more rested you’ll feel.

Our Most Common Dreams & What They Mean

Our Most Common Dreams & What They Mean

What are our most common dreams & what do they mean?

Every night each person on earth dreams for 90 minutes to two hours or more each night. Dreams are stories and images our mind creates while we sleep. They can be vivid and not always tell a simple story, leaving you feeling happy, sad or scared. Dreams happen anytime during sleep but your most vivid dreams will happen when you are in a deep sleep called REM (rapid eye movement), when the brain is most active1.

What do our common dreams mean?

  1. Being Chased

    This dream is most commonly reported. The anxiety we feel in the dream is so vivid, that it makes it easier for us to remember them. Often, the reason for dreaming you are being chased comes not from the fear of actually being chased but rather what you’re running from. Chase dreams help us to understand that maybe we’re not addressing something in our waking lives that requires our attention.
  2. Falling

    Not all falling dreams are scary. Some dreamers report a type of slow falling that indicates serenity and the act of letting go. When we dream of falling uncontrollably from a great height indicates that something in our life feels very much out of control.
  3. Water

    Water represents our emotions or our unconscious minds. The type of the water (clear, cloudy, calm or turbulent) often shows us how effectively we are managing our emotions.
  4. Flying

    Flying in a dream relates to how much control we feel we have in our lives. Depending on how high or low we fly can represent how much control we feel we have.
  5. Vehicles

    Whether a car, aeroplane, train or ship, the vehicles in our dream can reflect what direction we feel our life is taking, and how much control we think we have over the path ahead of us. Vehicles can give us the power to make a transition and envision ourselves getting to our destination or highlight the obstacles we think we are facing and need to work through.
  6. People

    Dreaming of people often is a reflection of the different aspects you see in yourself. The people in your dreams can relate to characteristics that need to be developed. Specific people directly relate to existing relationships or interpersonal issues we need to work through. Dreaming of your partner, in particular, is frequently symbolic of an aspect of ourselves from which we feel detached.
  7. School

    These dreams are often reported by people who have left school years previously. It’s a very common situation for people in dreams to find themselves in a school or classroom sometimes confronted with a test that they aren’t prepared to take. The “test” or “lesson” we face inside the school or classroom is frequently one we need to learn from our past.
  8. Death

    Although dreaming of death is often perceived as negative, it often refers to dramatic change happening for the dreamer. The end of one thing, in order to make room for something new.
  9. Nudity

    Vulnerability is very often expressed in dreams through nudity. The part of the body that’s exposed can give more insight into the emotion that our dreams are helping us to understand.
  10. Baby

    Dreaming of a baby often represents something new. It might be a new idea, a new development or the potential for growth in an area of our waking life.
  11. Teeth Falling Out

    If you dream of your teeth falling out it may suggest you are insecure about how you are perceived by others and your appearance.
  12. Paralysis

    The body is actually encountering a form of paralysis during dreaming, which prevents it from physically performing the actions occurring in their dreams, therefore dreaming about paralysis frequently represents the overlap between the REM stage and waking stage of sleep. Dreaming about paralysis can also indicate that the dreamer feels he or she lacks control in their waking life.

But why do we dream?

There is still no given answer on why we dream but there are many theories. Some researchers say dreams have no purpose or meaning and are nonsensical activities of the sleeping brain. Whereas others say dreams are necessary for mental, emotional, and physical health. They believe that dreams help us work through the problems in our lives, incorporate our memories and process our emotions2.

Top tips to get your child to sleep

Top tips to get your child to sleep

Getting your little one to drift off can sometimes be a daunting task. Here at SlumberSlumber we have decided to put together a few tips on getting your child to sleep.

Tips on getting your child to sleep

1) The Bedroom

Pay attention to your child’s bedroom. A cool dark quiet room is ideal. Remove most toys, games, televisions, computers, and radios if your child is having trouble falling asleep or is frequently up at night. Climb into your child’s bed to see how their bedroom feels from their viewpoint.

2) The Bed, Bedding and Pillows

Providing your child with good bedding and comfortable bedclothes is vitally important to ensure their growing bodies get the support that they need for a comfy night’s sleep.

3) The Bedtime Routine

A bed time routine is a powerful “cue” that it is time to sleep. It needs to be simple. A complicated routine that requires a parent to be present makes it hard for a child to go back to sleep. Try writing out the bedtime routine to make it consistent. Share these “scripts” with other caregivers like baby-sitters, grandparents and dads.

4) Exercise

An hour of moderate exercise daily will help your child sleep better. You can break the hour up into 4 chunks of 15 minute slots.

5) Sleepy foods

Food that will help induce sleep include poultry, oats, bananas, honey and green leafy vegetables. Include some of these in the evening meal followed by a glass of warm milk.

Sleep Yourself Thin?

Sleep Yourself Thin?

The Sleep Expert Sammy Margo Reveals The Ultimate Slimming Secret

The New Year is undoubtedly the time to kick-start a healthy diet regime and weight loss programme. But what if your quality of sleep were to influence the results you see on the scales? In 2007 a study published in Sleep Medicine Review revealed the number of hours we sleep greatly influences our risk of obesity and diabetes, and the less we sleep, the greater the risk.

What is the connection between sleep and weight?

SlumberSlumber.com’s resident sleep expert Sammy Margo suggests that the connection may be due to two hormones: leptin, which suppresses appetite, and ghrelin, which increases appetite. When your body is experiencing sleep deprivation the leptin levels are lowered whilst the ghrelin levels rise, making you feel hungry. In addition to altering your hormone levels, sleep deprivation can also be responsible for influencing your food choices, making us crave foods high in sugar and carbohydrate, which can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. All this suggests that sleep deprivation can be detrimental to your weight loss regime because it causes your body to work against you!

A good nights sleep can aid weight loss!

A good nights sleep certainly isn’t a quick fix, and of course you have to combine it with a healthy diet and regular exercise, but quality of sleep may have more to do with successful weight loss and weight management than you ever thought possible!

Apart from the hormone shifts that occur with sleep deprivation, increasing your likelihood of gaining weight, logic would seem to suggest that:

  • The more hours you are awake, the more hours you have to visit the fridge
  • The less sleep you get, the more exhausted you are and the less inclined to cook properly and exercise regularly
  • The more tired you are, the more likely you are to comfort eat

So before you become disenchanted with your diet programme, look into your sleep habits and aim for a good night’s sleep.

Here at SlumberSlumber we’ve already done the hard work for you by selecting products which will create a comfortable and soothing sleep environment, allowing you to achieve a good night’s sleep.

Taken from ‘The Good Sleep Guide’ by Sammy Margo, available to buy from SlumberSlumber.

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