Sunday, February 1, 2015

When do I get some sleep?

Why can't I sleep like a husky?

My new juicer and assortment of veggies for juicing
Poor sleep is common in fibromyalgia sufferers. In fact, fibromyalgia has been called a sleep disorder. As a fibro sufferer, I haven't experienced the wonder of good sleep in years. But, after my fractured wrist from a bicycling accident, sleep has become as precious and elusive as the ring in the "Lord of the Rings."

I haven't slept well since my accident in late November. This chronic lack of sleep is the result of pain from my wrist as well as a "pain in the butt" husky, named Misha, who has decided he wants to wake everyone up at hours ranging from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. His middle-of-the-night wake up calls are the last thing someone with fibromyalgia needs.

Now, I am basically what I would call a "basket case" most of the time. I am experiencing emotional outbursts, chronic fatigue, brain fog and depression. Yes, I am difficult to live with. Meditation helps some but what I really need is sleep. Do you hear me, Misha?

Yesterday, I tried to lose, then kill, my cellphone, all of which resulted in a meltdown on my part. This is not me. I am normally calm and reasoned. If any of this sounds like you, you are probably sleep deprived too!

The quality of sleep in fibro sufferers is usually poor. I go to bed fully intending to get 8-9 hours of sleep which is highly recommended for those of us with fibro. Unfortunately, the wrist and other pains, husky and husband snoring reduce the quality of my sleep. The problem is all these interruptions prevent me from experiencing the deeper stages of sleep (stages 3 and 4).

In one study, fibro symptoms were created in healthy volunteers who were constantly awakened during the night for two weeks. Without these deep stages of sleep, many of the repair processes needed for good health don't get taken care of by your body.

Veggies, fruit for juicing
What can we do as fibro sufferers to get better sleep? Before my accident, I was doing pretty well on getting sleep. I purchased a Sleep Number bed which was a big plus. I also took lots of vitamin supplements to boost their levels in my body.

 Poor absorption of vitamins and minerals may be a contributing factor in the poor sleep of fibro sufferers. You see your brain needs certain vitamins and minerals in order to sleep. I have suffered from poor absorption for years due to poor digestion. Tests revealed extremely low Vitamin B, magnesium, Vitamin D and calcium.

Studies have shown that maintaining sufficient levels of Vitamins B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12 particularly help in achieving good sleep. I take a B complex vitamin and a B12 supplement. Prior to my accident, these vitamins, plus eating good food sources of B vitamins, had helped improve my sleep.Good natural sources of B Vitamins include animal products in general but especially clams, beef liver, fatty fish (mackerel, smoked salmon, tuna), crab, fortified cereals, red meat, skim milk, cheese and eggs.

Among other affects, the group of B Vitamins is involved in regulating the body's level of tryptophan, an amino acid important for maintaining healthy sleep.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) often promotes sleep in people who have insomnia caused by depression and increases effectiveness of tryptophan. It is reported to help people who fall asleep rapidly but keep waking up during the night.
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is good for relieving stress and anxiety. A deficiency of B5 can cause sleep disturbances and fatigue.
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid) deficiency has been linked to insomnia.
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is reported to help insomniacs who have problems falling asleep, as well as promoting normal sleep-awake cycles.

Okay, I drank it up before I remembered to snap a photo.
Poor absorption of vitamins and minerals is a big problem for fibro sufferers. I am now taking a bone builder supplement because my accident revealed I wasn't absorbing enough calcium.

 I also recently started juicing to ensure that I was getting more nutrients. Seventy percent of the nutrient content of fruit and vegetables is found in the juice. Individuals with normal guts probably can pull the nutrients out of whole fruits and vegetables but my sensitive gut isn't getting the job done. That's why I'm helping it out with juicing. I drink about 4 ounces of freshly made juice each day in addition to a healthy diet.
My favorite juice recipe includes a handful of spinach, two stalks of kale, 1 stalk of chard, 1 celery stalk, 3-4 cucumber slices, and sometimes a slice of pineapple and juice of a lemon. Most juicers like to do: greens, fruit, lemon juice, celery or cucumber, ginger. I omit the lemon juice because I have developed a sensitivity to it.

To make your juice taste delicious, always include these three ingredients: ½ inch nub of fresh ginger, juice of ½ lemon, and a piece of fruit, although I prefer one slice of fresh and frozen pineapple. Veggies to choose from include celery, cucumber, carrots, kale, spinach.

Here is my favorite juice blend:

3-4 slices of cucumber
1 handful spinach
2 small stalks of kale
1 slice of fresh pineapple
½ inch nub of fresh ginger
Optional: Juice of ½ lemon

 Someday, I hope to be back to snoozing like Misha.

Recipe contributed:


Good said...

Great post - thanks for reminding me to get my B vitamins as I'm always having problems getting to sleep and i am always in a light sleep. in fact I can trace my symptoms beginning back to when my sleep patterns became worse.

Sheree Welshimer said...

Yes, the B vitamins have really helped me. I also am trying this new sleep aid with tryptophan that is amazing.