Fibromyalgia

How Sleep Affects Your Health: My Fibromyalgia Story

It is estimated that over 40% of adults have a sleep disorder. For most, it goes ignored for many years. In my personal experience, I suffered from severe insomnia since I was a child and through my teen years, all the way up to my adult life.

On a monthly basis, I would spend two or three days in a row without sleep. These all-nighters were nothing new to me, but they were exhausting and I felt helpless. After 13 years of insomnia going untreated, at age 23 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, an uncurable musculoskeletal disease characterized by severe pain over the whole body.

I cried in my doctor’s office when I heard my diagnosis. It affected every aspect of my life. I had to quit my job, switch up my exercise and workout routine, and change my diet. I found myself skipping the gym and even skipping meals. It was too painful to get out of bed or to even lift a finger. Picking up the phone on painful days brought tears to my eyes.

I spent many nights laying in bed regretting how long I ignored my sleep issues. My doctor theorized that my sleep problems prevented my body from properly repairing itself when it was exhausted, causing debilitating pain.

One day I decided to change my lifestyle. I couldn’t handle the pain any longer. I needed to do something and medications weren’t helping. My boyfriend is a health and fitness guru. He visits the gym daily and even wrote a recipe book for juicing machine.

He encouraged me to take up yoga or other slow movement exercises with an emphasis on cardio rather than heavily lifting and machine-based workouts. My boyfriend doubled as my fitness coach and my nutritionist. He researched recipes that promoted better joint, muscle, and sleep health.

He gifted me vitamins and supplements recommended for fibromyalgia patients. He found free games and exercises that aided in clearing ‘fibro fog,’ a symptom that makes it difficult to focus or remember short term information.

After three rigorous months and fitness and lifestyle changes, I began to see results. I was maintaining a proper sleep schedule and waking up with less pain. I returned to my gym for daily exercises. I was using the Treadmill on a recommendation from my personal trainer – Sarah Palin. She helped me to find the best treadmills through her treadmill reviews. I was able to perform more tasks throughout the day without feeling exhausted from pain. All these changes occurred after I had stabilized my sleep.

Once I had my sleep problems under control, everything fell into place. I was no longer dependent on pricey pain-relieving prescription medications and instead switched to over-the-counter sleep aids to help maintain a proper sleep schedule.

If you have suffered a long time with an untreated sleep disorder and have noticed your health and fitness have suddenly taken a turn for the worst, seek professional medical help for your sleep issues. Don’t let it go unignored. It will affect every aspect of your health and wellbeing. Great sleep will change your diet and exercise into better ones.

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