Originally found on https://fibromyalgianewstoday.com/2017/07/21/fibromyalgia-insomnia-a-few-tips-for-restorative-sleep/

I know I’ve already tackled the sleep dilemma in a previous column, but once again I am experiencing serious issues getting to sleep. My earlier suggestions aren’t working. I really need to get restorative sleep because it is affecting my health. But how do I get it? I feel like I’ve tried everything!

Being sleep-deprived is detrimental to your health and can be downright dangerous. Lack of sleep can cause serious health problems and accidents, so getting the proper rest is imperative. Not getting enough rest makes you run down. You become more susceptible to colds and other airborne illnesses. I never get just a cold, I also get sinus infections that last for weeks. Pneumonia is another frequent visitor at my house.

Sleep deprivation also affects your mood. Anger and depression are symptoms. I notice that I get mad when I normally wouldn’t. Every little thing ticks me off. I tend to get snippy and have a negative attitude.

After dealing with yet another bout of pneumonia, I finally did some more research on the subject. I talked with my many doctors and healthcare practitioners, and they came up with a few more ideas to add to my previous list:

  1. Sleep in the nude! That may not work for some, but if you can, give it a try! Sleeping naked improves blood circulation, aids in weight loss, lowers your blood pressure, helps you maintain a lower body temperature (which could help with night sweats), and boosts your immune system.
  2. Lower the temperature in the bedroom. Somewhere between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit should do the trick. Your body temperature actually decreases when it begins the sleep process. Sleeping in a cooler bedroom can help initialize sleep and decrease restlessness. Who isn’t for that?
  3. Essential oils: A spritz of lavender on your pillowcase may help you relax and fall asleep more quickly. Other essential oils that are recommended for sleep include ylang-ylang, bergamot, clary sage, vetiver, and Roman chamomile. Lavender is my go-to. Get a small glass spray bottle (brown or blue glass for essential oils) and spritz your pillow and bed linens lightly every night before you get into bed.
  4. Prep for the next morning before you go to bed. Make sure you have a lunch ready to go for work the next day. Have your clothes laid out so you don’t worry about it when you are trying to fall asleep. Get stuff off your mind in advance. If it is something that you usually struggle with in the morning, getting it done before bed can take a load off your mind and help you fall asleep sooner.
  5. Go to bed on time! Staying up too late will only stress you out and make it harder to get to sleep. Keep the same schedule every day. Your body will thank you for it.
  6. Try to minimize physical exercise at night. Your body needs time to cool down after exercising. Going to bed too soon after exertion will only keep you awake or make you restless during the night.
  7. Sleep aides. If you can’t sleep no matter what you’ve tried, you may need to seek medical advice. Medications, supplements, or herbs might do the trick. My nutritionist recommended an herb, kava forte, to help me sleep. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any herb or supplement. They can interact with your medications and cause serious health issues.
  8. A sleep study may be in order. Perhaps you have a medical condition that is causing your lack of sleep, such as sleep apnea. If your partner complains of snoring, or that you stop breathing during the night, you could have a serious sleep disorder and need to see a physician.

Written by CARRIE ANTON