Dealing with Fibro/IBS & Sleep Problems

Sleep troubles, TMJ and restless legs. Do these sound familiar?

How do you feel in the morning after sleep?

What do you do in your evenings before you go to bed?

The habits you have developed overtime may be part of the reason that you suffer from sleep trouble, tossing and turning during the night, get up repeatedly and wake feeling lethargic.

While certain habits can affect the quality and quantity of your rest, there are also other possible reasons that can lead to trouble getting to sleep and non-restorative sleep.

Both the quality and quantity of rest that a person receives nightly can be affected by, as well as affect the symptoms of Fibro/IBS.

Muscle and connective tissue trouble, overly active mind, restless legs, and brainwave irregularities are all common to Fibro/IBS patients.

They can all lead to sleep trouble, as well as other conditions that restrict restorative sleep.

Improved nightly restorative rest is essential in improving your quality of life and decreasing many of the Fibro/IBS symptoms.


What are you doing to get a better night’s sleep?

The following are some considerations in improving both the quality and quantity of your nightly rest:

Do you have a regular time to go to bed and get up?

If not, you will want to try to set a regular time to retire. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, including weekends and holidays, sets an internal rhythm.

Establishing a regular pattern will help you determine just how many hours YOU need. Most people require 7 – 8 hours a night to feel rested.

Once you determine how many hours you do need, then establish a pattern that supports that need.


What are you eating and drinking late in the afternoon and evening?

Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol or chocolate, all stimulants, taken in the late afternoon or evening can disturb your ability to sleep. Also, consumption of spicy foods can cause heartburn.

Liquids before bed can wake you up in the night for a trip to the bathroom, disrupting your rest. So watch that late night snacking and drinking!

Are you taking naps during the day?

Naps can interfere with your ability to fall and stay asleep. So, if you absolutely must take a nap during the day, keep it short – no longer that a 20 minute power nap. In place of a nap, you may want to try a short meditation, or listen to a visualization CD for 10 – 15 minutes.


What time are you exercising?

Hopefully, you are not scheduling exercise within 3 hours of bedtime. Rather, schedule your exercise upon rising in the morning or earlier in the day. Evening exercise can lead to trouble falling asleep.

Are you relaxed when you go to bed?

One of the keys to eliminating sleep trouble is having an UNDER-stimulated mind. Create a calming, quiet nigh time ritual. Read a book, meditate, listen to soothing music or take a bath before going to bed.

Do quiet activities that calm the mind and spirit. Refrain from heated discussions or topics that create a strong emotional response. It is time to quiet your mind, not create a stir. Reducing stress usually induces better quality of sleep.