Fibromyalgia is a condition characterised by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain all over the body. Such a condition may interfere with quality of life, specifically when it comes to sleep. In this guide, we’ll learn about items that can make sleep come easier for people with fibromyalgia, such as mattress warmers, weighted blankets, heated mattress pads, and more.1. What Happens in Fibromyalgia?
For a person with fibromyalgia, the brain and spinal cord misinterpret pain signals from the sensory nerves. Theories suggest that the brain lowers the threshold for pain; thus, the patient is more sensitive to pain compared to those who do not have fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia causes pain in places called "tender points". Patients with fibromyalgia may experience excruciating pain from being touched, and the pressure from lying down causes immense discomfort. Recurring episodes of these symptoms can decrease quality of life and lead to profound emotional distress.
Heat is effective at soothing sore joints, which means that it could be a beneficial treatment for fibromyalgia pain. This condition is difficult to treat. However, heat therapy may be able to relieve the pain caused by fibromyalgia.
A recent study suggests that heat treatment may be more effective than physical therapy for treating pain associated with fibromyalgia. The analysis indicated that the heat treatment was more effective at both reducing pain and improving functionality.
Because of the pain they experience when lying down, those who suffer from fibromyalgia may suffer from a lack of quality sleep. These individuals tend to sleep lightly, unable to hit the deep sleep stages.
Getting quality sleep is a necessity for those with fibromyalgia because it is during deep sleep that the body heals. Not to mention, when you get a full night's sleep, you are more mentally ready to manage your symptoms during the day.
Some adjustments to your sleeping arrangements may need to be made with a mind for your comfort when you are living with fibromyalgia. Here's a quick guide to bed essentials for people with fibromyalgia.
It seems like year after year, there are more options for mattresses. However, finding the right one when you have fibromyalgia may prove difficult. Getting exactly the comfort level you need will take a little shopping around.
Choosing a mattress that's too firm can put too much pressure on your body and cause pain. Memory foam is usually the best option for those with fibromyalgia because the adaptable material makes sure that pressure can be evenly distributed.
If a new mattress is not an option for you, a mattress topper can make a huge difference. Like with the mattress, you should look for and try out multiple memory foam mattress toppers. You can find these at almost any retail store, and they'll transform the way your bed feels when you go to sleep.
While a mattress topper may be a great option for some, if your mattress is old and worn, a mattress topper alone may not suffice. However, an extra layer of comfort is sure to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Heat is an effective method for treating joint and muscle pain because it relaxes the muscles. This can help relieve some symptoms of fibromyalgia. While there aren't heating pads specifically made for the treatment of fibromyalgia, other measures can be taken to add warmth to your sleeping routine and ease your symptoms before bed.
Electric blankets and electric mattress warmers are the typical options; however, they come with more risks than benefits to a patient with fibromyalgia. These items generate heat through coils woven into the blanket. When plugged in, electricity heats up the coils.
However, these electric coils are not perfect. They may overheat, and leave hot spots in the bedding that could burn your skin while you’re asleep. Burns on top of the discomfort caused by fibromyalgia can cause significant distress.
A better alternative is a water-heated mattress pad. A water-heated mattress pad uses water heated by an external unit and circulated through tubes in the pad. This way, there are no hot spots or overheating cords in your bedding, removing the risk for burns. What’s more, water temperature is recalibrated every time it passes through the heating unit, keeping the bedding’s temperature constant.
If you sleep with a partner, a mattress warmer with dual control allows you to set the two halves of the mattress pad to your individual heating preferences, You cuddle through the night without having to debate the correct sleeping temperature.
According to Forbes, a weighted blanket may be able to help those suffering from fibromyalgia. Weighted blankets are blankets filled with weighted materials like pellets, beads, or discs. The extra weight triggers deep pressure receptors within the skin, producing a calming effect. Weighted blankets are recommended for fibromyalgia patients to reduce anxiety, thereby also decreasing symptom flare-ups.
Studies show that blankets that weigh approximately 30 pounds provide comfort for patients with fibromyalgia.
A good pillow is vital for a good night's sleep. When you have fibromyalgia and problems staying asleep, a good pillow can mean the difference between quality sleep and poor sleep with a lot of discomfort.
For a more restful sleep, you may want to try a body pillow, or even a maternity pillow to keep your hips aligned throughout the night and to relieve unnecessary pressure on your knees and elbows.
Living with fibromyalgia presents its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to sleeping. Fortunately, there are sleeping implements out there that can help you get the sleep you need while alleviating some discomfort. Call us today to see how we can help!