Chronic illness, Fibromyalgia, Invisible illness, Sleep, Uncategorised, Yoga Nidra

How are you #sleeping?…

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

A few simple changes can make a difference to your quality of sleep. I know this from first hand experience, having suffered from poor unrefreshing sleep for years, due to fibromyalgia.

After weeks of not sleeping the bodyโ€™s functions become impaired making it extremely difficult to function in a normal way. (Whatever normal is for a fibromyalgia sufferer). 

โ€œIf youโ€™re thinking, I donโ€™t have fibromyalgia, itโ€™s still worth giving these suggestions a try.โ€

โ€œInsomnia, fatigue and pain are all part of life if you live with fibromyalgia.โ€ The symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as fatigue and pain are all made worse with poor quality sleep.

Over time Iโ€™ve found some solutions that have helped me get a better nights sleep. Obviously, thereโ€™s no one size fits all with these suggestions. That said, itโ€™s still worth giving them a go. Just being aware what might work is useful.

On occasions I still find I have some problems sleeping but I can solve these more effectively than previously.

Common problems experienced range from:

  • getting to sleep
  • staying asleep until morning
  • waking during the night
  • getting back to sleep after waking up

Have a look at the following suggestions for improving your sleep

  • Go for regular exercise every morning, lunchtime or evening, for example by walking 

  • Check your bedroom temperature and lighting are beneficial for sleep 

  • Adjust your bed and pillows to make it as comfy as possible 

  • Invest in a electric blanket to warm the bed before you get in and help relax muscles 

  • Avoid smoking, over eating or drinking caffeine directly before bedtime 

My top tips for getting to sleep

  • Help your mind wind down for the day
  • Get into a regular sleep routine for adjusting your Circadian rhythm, try to get up at the same time every day
  • Turn off all devices that emit blue light an hour before bedtime
  • Read a relaxing book or listen to gentle music
  • Try a meditation, for example yoga nidra to help you to get to sleep 
  • Use ear plugs and a eye mask to block unwanted noise and light
  • Get into a comfortable sleep position and then try a relaxation routine 

Whilst you are asleep make sure your room doesnโ€™t have a device left switched on, that will wake you like a mobile phone.

A pet that sleeps in your bedroom and disturbs you in the night, should be encouraged to sleep elsewhere.

If you wake in the night and cannot get back to sleep get up and find something that makes you drowsy like reading or a yoga nidra sleep meditation then return to bed.

If you find by morning you have not had enough sleep go back to bed and sleep for a while longer. If you catch up with a couple of hours sleep every night you will see the difference after a few months.

I recently read several articles which mentioned vitamin D (sunlight) exposure daily in the morning shortly after rising can help and mindfulness meditation both improved the quality of sleep for fibromyalgia sufferers. 

I believe this to be true because I usually get up and do a daily walk every morning and this regulates my circadian rhythm over the next 24 hours. Itโ€™s more important to get up at the same time every day than the time I go to sleep. 

Iโ€™ve found improvements in my concentration and ability to switch off at night after practicing regular Meditation on a daily basis. Explore meditation apps for sessions covering mindfulness and sleep. Have a look at my Fibromyalgia Self Help pages on  Meditation and  Exercise

If you have insomnia and itโ€™s not necessarily fibromyalgia related, get it checked out by your doctor or health professional. If they prescribe sleeping pills it would be advisable to be referred to see a specialist sleep consultant.

Have a look at the  NHS sleep self assessment  to determine how good your sleep is.  From this link you will find some helpful information about sleep.

Autumn, Blog, Poetry

Changing Seasons #Autumn ๐Ÿ‚

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As the nights draw in summer is fading away and the cool Autumn days are here.  I was inspired by John Keats poem To Autumn which I posted last week for national poetry day.  For this weekโ€™s post, Iโ€™ve written a poem based on the autumn season.

Is it Autumn?

๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚

The chill

Of the wind

Blows strongly 

Today

Iโ€™m wrapped up 

Warm and cosy

๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚

I see 

A gold carpet

Leaves twirling 

Scattering 

Subtle tints glinting 

In subdued sunlight 

๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚

Wild fruits 

Show vibrant hues

A stags 

Silhouette

Cuts in through 

Hazy morning mist 

๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚

Forest fungi 

Begin slowly unfurling

Migrating birds

Circling

Through cool air

Flying far away

๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚

Itโ€™s definitely 

Autumn 

Now!

By Spiral White