Easing Nighttime Fibromyalgia Pain

The HealthCentral Editorial Team | Mar 30th 2012

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Nighttime pain carries an extra burden...

You’ve been dealing with your fibromyalgia pain all day and are looking forward to a good night’s sleep. But the pain you’ve felt all day is still with you as lie down for some much-needed rest. How do you get the pain under control so you can rest and be ready for the next day? In this slideshow, we’ll look at some simple things you can do to ease your fibromyalgia pain and help you get a more restful night’s sleep.

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Avoid stimulants

Coffee, tea, chocolate, colas, and alcohol are all stimulants that can interfere with sleep. So you’re going to be even more vulnerable to their effects on sleep if you’re already dealing with pain. Eating spicy foods at night can also irritate your stomach and help keep you awake. For these reasons, it’s best to avoid all of these foods and beverages at night.

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Sleep in a dark, quiet room

Make sure your bedroom is dark and and at a comfortable temperature before you try to sleep. Avoid sleeping with a television on, and keep computers, cell phones, and other devices out of your room or on “silent” mode. You might also try a white noise machine or other ambient noise device to block out background noise. And if it’s impossible to make your room very dark, try wearing an eye mask to block out light.

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Take a bath

Taking a warm bath has been found to ease tension in the body and aid relaxation. Adding Epsom salts or fragrant bath salts or oils may also help reduce stress and pain. Some fibromyalgia experts also recommend using a loofah or long-handled bath brush for a gentle massage while you’re in the bath.

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Try massage

If you live with a spouse or partner, ask him or her to give you a gentle massage before bed to help relax your painful muscles. If you live alone, you can try self-massage on tender points. To do this, place a tennis ball on the floor and carefully lie on it. Then gently roll your body so that the ball moves over these sore areas.

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Gentle stretching has been found to help reduce fibromyalgia pain. Stretching elongates muscles and increases flexibility, which makes daily activities easier and reduces tension and pain. It can also give you some “me” time before bed, allowing you to better relax. Fibromyalgia experts have also found that patients who practice a stretching routine tend to fall asleep faster and wake up less frequently at night.

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Try music or meditation

Meditation can help you calm your mind, order your thoughts, and go to bed without the intrusive thoughts that often interfere with sleep. Music can also help. A 2005 study found that listening to just 45 minutes of relaxing music before bedtime can help you have a restful night’s sleep. And using music as part of your sleep regimen is easy to learn.