Improving Sleep When You Have Fibromyalgia

Topic Overview

If you have fibromyalgia, you may often wake up feeling tired and unrefreshed. Some experts believe poor sleep contributes to fatigue and muscle pain.

Getting a good night's sleep may be a big step toward controlling your symptoms.

  • Practice good sleeping habits. Go to bed only when you are sleepy, and get up at the same time each day, whether you are rested or not.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine for 4 to 6 hours or longer before bedtime. These can lead to poor sleep.
  • Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Do not read, eat, work, or watch television in bed. Use your bed only for sleeping and sex.
  • Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
  • Make sure your mattress provides good support. Use a neck support pillow to stabilize your head and neck during sleep.
  • Eliminate or block out all sound and light that may disturb your sleep. Try using a sleep mask and earplugs to help you sleep.
  • If you lie awake in bed for longer than 15 minutes, get up, leave the bedroom, and do something quiet (read or listen to music) until you are sleepy again.
  • Get regular exercise. Exercise can improve sleep and is a very important part of home treatment for fibromyalgia. But avoid exercise during the 3 to 4 hours before bedtime, because it may keep you awake.

Related Information

Credits

Author Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Richa Dhawan, MD - Rheumatology
Last Updated October 21, 2009

Last Updated: October 21, 2009

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