- Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible. Cover or replace bright alarm clocks and other device lights. Install room-darkening shades.
- Try progressive muscle relaxation. “From my clinical experience, patients with chronic pain find progressive muscle relaxation helpful as tensing and releasing different parts of the body helps individuals relax and improve pain and sleep issues,” Chua said.
- Seek help. “Don’t suffer too long,” Doghramji advised. “Go see a doctor. If you don’t get the right answer from your family doctor, or they just jump right to a sleeping pill, go to a specialist. There are a lot of sleep specialists out there who can be helpful, and I think they’re underutilized by fibromyalgia patients.”
I also asked if there were any supplements or prescription sleep aids that might be helpful for improving deep sleep. Here are their responses:
- Chua: “Gabapentin is found to be effective in increasing slow-wave sleep, which is often referred to as deep sleep. The physicians I work with often prescribe it at a low dose for patients who have sleep efficiency but complain about the quality of their sleep. Trazodone is another medication the sleep center uses to enhance sleep quality in patients.”