Monday, December 13, 2010

Tired of Being Tired


Fibromyalgia is a tough disease because the symptoms are vast.  Some people experience IBS, where others do not, however, a good majority of people, about 90%, suffer from fatigue of some sort while dealing with the condition of Fibromyalgia.  The fatigue can be moderate to severe.

A new explanation of this fatigue which is closely related to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is that Fibro sufferers have dysfunctional mitochondria.  Mitochondria are something inside our cells that convert nutrients and oxygen into energy for our body.  If there is a break down with our mitochondria, we don’t have enough energy being produced.

I’m not sure what side of the fence I’m on as far as explanations go for the source of all of my exhaustion.  I’ve read about this finding along with many others that are all closely connected to some type of deficiency in the body.  To be honest, though, I’m so tired of being tired that I’d rather have some solutions for my exhaustion.

What I’ve found that works:

Regular Bedtimes

Mom was right you have to have a regular bedtime every night.  I was never a huge stickler for regular bedtimes.  I would burn the midnight oil if I needed to work on an article or chapter of a book.  I wound up paying for it the next day every time I did this, though.  2:30 in the afternoon would come and I needed to sleep.  I put myself through sheer torture trying to stay awake by drinking a pot (yes you read it right) of coffee before dinner.  Once I ate I’d drink another cup or two just to keep myself moving until the kids were in bed.

Plan a Bedtime Ritual

Mom was also right here.  Setting a routine for yourself eases your body into getting ready for sleep.  You see, I realized quickly that coffee drinking the day and night away wasn’t working well for me. I wasn’t a college kid anymore and I needed something in place to help long term.  I set out to keep a regular bedtime schedule.  I now stop my computer and house work about a half an hour before bedtime so I can get my body into relaxation.  I enjoy a cup of caffeine-free tea and then brush my teeth before bed.
I also make it a point to change into sleepwear.  I know this might sound strange to some of you, but I’ve gotten so tired that I’ve slept in my day clothes.  This is not the best of ideas because day clothes can be very constricting and also too hot for bedtime.  I’ve awoken from sleep because I got tangled in the bed sheets or became too hot.  Waking up in the middle of the night doesn’t bode well for Fibro sufferers that deal with insomnia.

Vitamins

It also appears that Hulk Hogan was right too.  Taking your vitamins is a good idea for Fibromites.  A good multi-vitamin with a great absorption rate can help give you the energy you need.  This will help alleviate some of your tiredness during the day. 
Multi-vitamins are not all created equal.  There are some with better absorption rates than others.  You can find the best ones by consulting with your health care provider and/or nutritionist.  It’s also a good idea to take them with a meal because that may double the chance of absorption.

Same Wakeup Time
 
Yeah this one may be difficult because everyone likes to sleep in on the weekend.  This isn’t the best idea for Fibro sufferers.  Your body needs to get used to a daily wake up just like it needs to get used to a nightly bedtime.  Waking up at the same time every day helps your internal to stay on track.

Warm Baths 

A warm bath can help reduce your stress if you take one right before bed.  Soaking in Epsom salt will help too.  Epsom salt eliminates toxins from the body and relieves muscle soreness.  The properties in Epsom salt have also helped Chronic Fatigue Sufferers.

Teas and Supplements
 
Teas containing chamomile, passion flower, or valerian will help to calm nerves and aid you in sleep.  They don’t make you feel groggy the next morning but I have found myself waking up in the middle of the night for a bathroom trip.  This can spell disaster for me because I have just as much of a problem staying asleep as I do falling asleep.

A supplement like Melatonin taken 30 minutes before bed is another option.  It is non-habit forming and it won’t make you feel groggy because it’s not like a sleep aid drug.  A drug or even alcohol may allow you a few zzz’s but you won’t be able to achieve deep sleep. 

Melatonin is naturally occurring in the body and supplementing it will help to restore your internal clock for insomnia.  However, there can be side effects.  Some include headaches, nausea, depression, nightmares and vivid dreams, irritablility, abdominal cramps, dizziness and decreased sex drive.  A low dose of .3mg to 5mg is suggested.  Most of the ones I’ve seen on the market adhere to this dosage.  But it is best to consult your physician before using any teas or supplements.   

In my experience, Melatonin works wonderfully and will allow me deep sleep.  I do not take it as part of my daily regimen, however.  I only use it when necessary and I never mix it with prescription drugs, other sleeping aids, or alcohol.  

Hope these tips help you achieve dream state tonight.

Stay Fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley
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