FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - 7 Tips for Coping with Fibromyalgia-Related Fatigue

 

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7 Tips for Coping with Fibromyalgia-Related Fatigue

Most of us count on waking up in the morning refreshed and ready to conquer the day. This isn't so for people with fibromyalgia. Fatigue is one of the hallmark symptoms of fibromyalgia and many experience it most acutely in the morning. What can you do about morning fatigue due to fibromyalgia? Try these seven tips to start your mornings off right.


Start With A Good Night's Sleep

Insomnia, restless leg syndrome, pain and frequent waking are common with fibromyalgia. Any of these symptoms can interrupt your sleep and prevent you from reaching the deep, restorative stages of sleep necessary for tissue repair and healing. Practice good sleep hygiene. This means:

  • Establishing regular sleep and wake times

  • Using your bedroom only for sleep and sex

  • Not watching TV or using your computer before bed

  • Keeping your bedroom cool

  • Avoiding naps

  • Eliminating caffeine and alcohol

  • Adjust your pain medication schedule. If middle of the night aches and pains are keeping you awake, ask your doctor about taking a dose at nighttime. This may require a change in the quantity of pills prescribed.

  • Ask your doctor about natural and prescription sleep remedies including melatonin, antihistamines, antidepressants and others.

  • Consider acupuncture for insomnia and restless legs.

Get Up Earlier

This may be tricky if you wake up feeling fatigued, but allowing yourself ample time to wake up and get moving without rushing can make a big difference in how you feel the rest of the day.


Exercise

Nothing boosts your energy level faster than exercise. Start your morning with some gentle stretching, a little yoga or Tai Chi and/or a walk. Commit to more vigorous exercise later in the day when your energy level is higher.


Hydrate and Nourish

Substitute a big glass of water and some green tea for your usual morning caffeinated beverage. Eat a healthy breakfast that includes protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.


Quit Smoking

Nicotine addiction (and waiting for the next cigarette) can keep people awake at night. Cigarettes contain a cocktail of chemicals that are linked with reduced cardiovascular and respiratory function, increased pain, and a host of other health problems associated with fatigue.


Get Your Hormones Checked

Thyroid, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are just a few of the hormones that contribute to energy levels, metabolism and a sense of wellbeing. Ask your doctor to order lab tests to check for hormone imbalances that might be corrected with medication or treatment.


Deal with depression

Anxiety and depression often manifest as fatigue and are common symptoms for patients who live with chronic pain, physical limitations and illness-related frustrations. Counseling, medication and a variety of therapies are usually successful for treating underlying depression and improving patients' energy.

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