Most sufferers will agree that the fatigue of fibromyalgia can be even more disruptive than the pain. After all, many things feed fibromyalgia fatigue – poor sleep, deconditioning, and even the pain itself – which makes it easy to fall behind in your self-care, leading to less sleep and more discomfort.
In order to break out of the exhausting cycle, you’ll need to address a few areas of your life, and revamp your daily routine to include more quality time for your mind and body. Here are some of the most effective ways to boost your energy and get back to your regular, motivated self.
1. Increase Thiamine Intake
There hasn’t been much in-depth research on thiamine therapy, but some fibro patients have had astounding results with this “super” vitamin. Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is essential for a variety of bodily functions, but it appears to have a major impact on pain and fatigue when taken in high amounts: with a dose of 1500 mg per day, many people noticeable a remarkable spike in their energy levels. There’s no guarantee that you will see life-changing results overnight with thiamine supplementation, but since thiamine is safe to take in higher amounts and brings few side effects, it may be worth discussing the option with your doctor..
2. Add Exercise
It’s no secret that exercise improves your range of motion and muscle function, but it’s also vital for increasing energy levels – and keeping them high enough to manage a daily routine. The less activity you do, the longer your muscles are left to stiffen and the more your cardiovascular system will lag. When you’re in this “deconditioned” state, your tolerance for exercise drops, and even small tasks begin to require all the energy you have to spare. However, regular aerobic activity mixed with some strength training will eventually make all the small, but unavoidable, obligations much easier to handle from dawn to dusk.
3. Supplement with Oxygen
Fibromyalgia can supress all of your muscles while you sleep, and in some cases, that can slow your lungs and heart so much that less oxygen gets to your brain. In turn, you wake up more tired than you were when you went to bed, and your mind and body will suffer. One solution is to use an oxygen tank during the night: some fibro patients find that after sleeping with a cannula, their mind is fresh and alert when they wake up in the morning. Ask your doctor to perform a sleep test in order to determine whether supplemental oxygen may be worthwhile for you.
4. Treat Sleep Apnea
Poor sleep is at the root of fatigue, and sleep apnea – one of the biggest obstacles to a good night’s rest – can go undiagnosed for years. In fact, fibromyalgia patients are 10 times more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than the general population, and that irregular sleep rhythm can lower your pain threshold significantly. Luckily, there are ways to overcome sleep disturbances, beginning with a sleep study to reveal your breathing habits and brain activity while you’re asleep. The next step is treating your apnea with medication or sleep devices to regulate your air intake.
5. Rethink Your Bedroom
In order to improve your sleep, you need to improve your surroundings. Take a look at your bedroom, and decide whether you can get rid of some extraneous furniture, kick knacks, and other clutter. A tightly packed space with lots of distractions can make it harder to fall asleep, as can the level and type of light you have around you. Invest in some blackout curtains, cut out late-night screen time (the blue light form TV screen and laptops is disruptive to natural sleep patterns), and get in the habit of consciously relaxing your mind and body before your head hits the pillow.