Sleep is nearly as glorious as food. I don’t know if I could live without one or the other. In fact, many studies show that recovery from stress or exertion of the day, physical and mental, requires 7-9 hours of sleep daily. It is the design of nature for us to rest our bodies and minds for this period of time. Sleep studies indicate that deficits in the duration or depth of sleep leads to chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Considering that so many factors disrupt sleep, which also coincides with fibromyalgia, it is no question that the two symptoms so often go hand in hand. The body requires anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours of deep sleep per night. This is the total amount of time gathered in Stage 3 and REM sleep, as the body goes through 3-4 sleep cycles during the night. This deep sleep requires sleeping a sufficient number of hours, being undisturbed by noise, light, or pain, and supporting the proper neuro chemistry to facilitate depth and duration of deep sleep. Many patients with fibromyalgia also deal with emotional fragility, stress disorders, depression, and even anxiety. These symptoms can be present in the absence of fibromyalgia, but they are always present in cases of sleep dysfunction.
Quality and quantity of sleep are easily improved through the application of natural medicine. Meditation and relaxation techniques are proven to be more effective than pharmaceutical drugs such as Ambien. Many herbs, amino acids, and natural neurotransmitter precursors enhance levels and functioning of specific sleep neurochemicals. The natural approach combined with treatment of other pre-disposing factors results in sleep recovery. Sleep recovery results in greater energy, improved stress adaptation, enhanced mood, and reduced fibromyalgia pain.