Fibromyalgia | The Complete Mattress & Sleep Guide

If you’re the 1 in 20 people affected by Fibromyalgia, then this article will hopefully help you sleep soundly and find what mattress is best for fibromyalgia.

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Fibromyalgia can cause many problems when it comes to trying to get a relaxing nights sleep. A restless night’s sleep accompanied by aches and pains will be all too familiar if you have Fibromyalgia. If you’re the 1 in 20 people affected by Fibromyalgia, then this article will hopefully help you sleep soundly.

Over the last decade, we have spoken to many people living with Fibromyalgia, all of whom are hoping to improve their sleep quality. But, unfortunately, the condition itself is draining and challenging to both treat and identify, which makes it incredibly frustrating for sufferers looking for a more comfortable new mattress, as there is a real lack of understanding around this condition in the mattress industry.

Over the years, people with Fibromyalgia have contacted us exasperated by the lack of knowledge and support when buying a mattress. So we’ve made it our mission to gain an in-depth understanding of this undervalued illness.

This article will help explain more about the condition and provide guidance on how to improve your sleep if you have Fibromyalgia.

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What is Fibromyalgia?

The NHS classifies Fibromyalgia as an ailment that causes widespread pain all over the body, fatigue, sleep problems and often mental and emotional distress. People with Fibromyalgia can be more sensitive to aches and pains than people without Fibromyalgia. This is known as abnormal pain perception processing. Fibromyalgia affects about 1 in 20 UK adults. The exacting cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown, which can be incredibly frustrating but can be effectively treated and managed.

As well as widespread pain, people with Fibromyalgia may also have:
  • Headaches
  • Clumsiness
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Extreme tiredness (Fatigue)
  • Waking up tired and restless
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Problems with concentration and mental processes (referred to as “fibro-fog”)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive conditions that can cause bloating and stomach pain
  • Tingling or numbness in feet and hands
  • Pain in the jaw or face, including disorders of the jaw known as temporomandibular joint syndrome.

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What Causes Fibromyalgia?

It’s unclear why people develop Fibromyalgia as the exact cause is not widely understood, but several factors are likely involved.

Here are some of the factors considered to contribute to the condition:

Sleep problems

It’s possible that rather than just a symptom, disturbed sleep patterns may cause Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia can prevent you from having a deep sleep and cause extreme tiredness. People who sleep badly can also have higher pain levels, implying that these sleep problems add to the other symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

Chemical imbalances

Studies show that people with Fibromyalgia have abnormally low noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin levels in their brains which may be a critical factor in the cause of Fibromyalgia, as they’re essential in regulating things like:

  • Appetite
  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Behaviour
  • Response to stressful situations
  • Abnormal pain messages

One of the key theories is that people with Fibromyalgia have developed changes in how the central nervous system processes the pain messages transferred around the body.

This could be the consequence of changes to chemicals in the nervous system. For example, the central nervous system carries information all over your body through a chain of specialised cells. Changes in the way this system operates may explain why Fibromyalgia results in persistent feelings of extreme sensitivity to pain.

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How is Fibromyalgia Treated?

Fibromyalgia can be effectively treated and controlled with self-management strategies and medication. A healthcare professional or doctor who specialises in the treatment of Fibromyalgia should treat Fibromyalgia. Doctors regularly treat Fibromyalgia with a combination of treatments, which may involve:

  • Medications, including prescription drugs
  • Muscle-strengthening and aerobic exercise
  • Stress management techniques such as massage, yoga and meditation
  • Good sleep habits to improve the quality of sleep
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy

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What are the Effects on Sleep From Fibromyalgia?

We’ve spoken to hundreds of people living with Fibromyalgia about the impact it has on their sleep. They experience a restless and uncomfortable night’s sleep mainly due to the discomfort the ailment causes, making it difficult to get a healthy night’s rest. This, linked with poor mattress choices, can lead to a distressing sleep cycle. The lack of sleep then compounds the problem, making Fibromyalgia even more uncomfortable, continuing the vicious cycle.

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What's the Best Mattress for Fibromyalgia?

There are many symptoms associated with the illness, making it difficult to suggest a one-size-fits-all mattress. So mattress retailers that claim to have a mattress perfect for Fibromyalgia should not be taken seriously, and their ethics should be questioned. The great news is that by asking a few questions about the sleeper, we can find you a mattress that will help give you a more comfortable and restful night’s sleep, overcoming the adverse impact that Fibromyalgia can have on your sleep pattern. Thus, helping design a more satisfying nights sleep for you.

People living with Fibromyalgia comment on one major problem with their mattress and sleep: the discomfort caused when a mattress is too firm. This firmness can cause excess pressure against the body, leading to joint pain, which leads to disturbance during the night from discomfort. Unfortunately, many mattress retailers suggest an orthopaedic or firm mattress for Fibromyalgia; this intensifies the problem and puts more stress and pain on the sleeper.

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Fibromyalgia and Restless Nights

Michael was suffering from continuously broken sleep for years and generally only slept 4-5 hours a night. In addition, he was in persistent pain on his firm mattress. After speaking with Michael over several days and considering his weight, sleeping position, comfort requirements and past mattress choices, we identified that a wool mattress might suit him best. Wool is incredibly supportive and progressive as it contours to specific body parts based on pressure whilst being highly breathable, keeping you cool throughout the night.

We advised Michael that the Winstons Premier Wool 1500 Pocket Spring mattress has an astonishingly soft and thick comfort layer that will take the pressure off his joints and be cooler than any other mattress filling. In addition, we proposed a soft spring tension based on his weight and sleeping position. As a result, Michael states the Premier Wool mattress helped him sleep in a much more comfortable position throughout the night.

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Fibromyalgia and hip Pain

Our elderly customer Mary suffered from Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia, which affected her sleep due to increased hip pain and constant tossing and turning throughout the night; unfortunately, her current mattress was sagging due to her weight. After many discussions on the phone with our mattress experts, we found Mary, who was 20 stone and 5ft 4inches tall, would be best suited to our Ultimate Hybrid mattress, which has a contouring natural latex layer that allowed a soft sink in the top layer. In addition, it has 5000GSM of natural fillings, allowing a medium sink giving much-needed rest to Mary’s sensitive hips and pains.

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How can I Improve my Quality of Life?

Get active
  • Experts recommend that people living with Fibromyalgia be moderately physically active for 2.5 hours per week. Walk, bike, or swim 30 minutes every day for five days a week, separated into ten-minute sessions during the day if needed. Regular physical activity can lessen the risk of developing other chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.
Go to recommended physical activity programs
  • Those concerned about safely exercising can engage in physical activity programs that are established and effective for reducing arthritis-related pain and improving the ability to move and mood.

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How to Sleep Better with Fibromyalgia

  • Choose a softer mattress to reduce joint pressure
  • Selecting a spring tension that is tailored to your body weight and sleeping position
  • Thoughtfully selecting thick upholstery layers; providing more cushioning
  • Avoid mattresses that retain heat by keeping away from synthetic foams

natural mattress fibres

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How can we Help

It’s clear from speaking to hundreds of people living with Fibromyalgia that it is a misunderstood and overlooked illness. As a result, people who suffer from it have to contend with migraines, sleepless disturbed nights and pain. This means that Fibromyalgia can turn into a nightmare if the wrong choice mattress is not recommended.

We’ve spoken to people living with Fibromyalgia who state they are being recommended firm mattresses, which is terrible advice in most cases. However, by taking direction and carefully considering your mattress, comfort and support can be achieved—all leading to a far more enjoyable nights sleep.

If you have Fibromyalgia or other pain condition and are struggling to sleep, please speak to our expert team for advice on 0161 250 9200 or drop us a question on our live chat.

Mattresses Chosen By Customers Living With Fibromyalgia

Our Customers Top Picks

Winston’s Premium Cotton 1500 Pocket Spring Mattress

Available in Extra Firm, Firm, Medium, Soft

Springs

1500 Springs

Natural

85% Natural

Depth

33cm

from £999.99
(88)
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Delivery

Free Delivery in 4-6 Weeks To Mainland UK

Winston’s Premier British Wool 1500 Pocket Spring Mattress

Available in Extra Firm, Firm, Medium, Soft

Springs

1500 Springs

Natural

100% Natural

Depth

33cm

from £1,109.99
(73)
View Product
Delivery

Free Delivery in 4-6 Weeks To Mainland UK

Winston’s Ultimate Hybrid Latex Mattress

Available in Firm, Medium, Soft

Springs

3000 Springs

Natural

100% Natural

Depth

33cm

from £1,899.99
(33)
View Product
Delivery

Free Delivery in 4-6 Weeks To Mainland UK

Published: 22nd September 2021 (Updated: 5th October 2021) | Isaah