Feeling sleepy is not uncommon after a hard day’s work or even after a too-long sleep. Tiredness is the body’s way of signaling that rest is required, and it is something that everybody will experience on a near-daily basis.
For some, however, lethargy and tiredness simply never leave them alone. Those suffering from chronic fatigue wake up tired, go through the day tired, fall asleep tired, and then repeat this cycle ad nauseum.
The exhaustion is simply exhausting. Of course, there are a number of medical and psychiatric conditions associated with chronic fatigue, amongst which one of the most notable is fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition which causes pain, fatigue, and even – ironically enough – problems with sleeping, which only exacerbates the fatigue.
This fatigue affects daily life significantly, slowing down cognition, causing emotional upset, breaking concentration and making day-to-day living a struggle.
Staying informed about fibromyalgia and its symptoms is an important step in making sure that you do everything you can to combat the condition, and can help significantly in improving your life.
Fatigue for sufferers of fibromyalgia differs from that of other conditions. With some, fatigue cannot be broken even by restful sleep, and the lethargy is usually from some other source.
With fibromyalgia, the biggest culprit is sleep disruption. There are a few things that can cause sleep disruption in conjunction with fibromyalgia.
The most common cause is the chronic pain suffered by people living with the condition. The ever-present aches and pains can make finding comfort for sleep impossible and can lead to being woken up during the night due to tenderness and sensitivity.
This causes late nights and light sleep, both of which contribute significantly to a broken sleep pattern which causes significant fatigue.
Even if sleep is unbroken, the pain can cause the body to snap out of deep sleep. This leaves you feeling unrested and drained, and can cause other health problems of its own.
Many people living with the condition will be tempted to nap throughout the day due to the extreme tiredness they feel.
However, this is something that is only helpful in a handful of cases. While some can use short sleep breaks to replenish themselves and make their fatigue somewhat more manageable, many more will find that the sleep does nothing to alleviate the tiredness they feel.
This can be very upsetting and can lead to a lot of lost time and productivity. For this reason, sustaining a job with fibromyalgia can seem very difficult, and it is something that should be discussed with employers and coworkers.
Drowsiness and lethargy are not the only side-effects of this disturbed sleep. In addition to the tiredness felt from a lack of good rest, sufferers of fibromyalgia often experience significant weakness.
This can range from reduced strength in the muscles and joints to a loss of balance and equilibrium, both of which can severely affect day-to-day tasks.
This weakness also gives way to another big issue with fatigue which is physical exhaustion. The chronic fatigue experienced by those living with fibromyalgia can make even the simplest tasks exhausting and difficult to perform.
These tasks need not be active, as even leisurely activities such as book reading can be completely draining when suffering from chronic fatigue. The other big problem caused by fatigue and disturbed sleep is cognitive and emotional troubles.
A lack of proper sleep can lead to a decline in concentration and cognitive abilities, which can cause problems with communication and the performance of daily tasks.
Similarly, fibromyalgia is commonly associated with anxiety and depression, both of which can be made significantly worse by an improper sleep pattern.
These problems can even act to make existing problems worse, with both causing stresses which can deepen pain and make sleep even harder to achieve and sustain.
The effect is cyclical, with sleep made worse by stress, anxiety, and depression, and these, in turn, being deepened by a lack of proper sleep. Finding help with these conditions is a crucial step in treating fatigue and combatting the illness.
There are many therapies available to people suffering from fibromyalgia, many specifically pertaining to issues with sleep.
Therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful in curbing the more potent effects of depression and anxiety disorders, which in turn can help sufferers get into a regular sleeping pattern.
Similarly, various physical therapies such as low-frequency sound therapy can be helpful in combatting the physical pain suffered by those with fibromyalgia.
By combatting both the physical pain and emotional issues associated with fibromyalgia, one has a much better chance of concurring – or making more manageable – the tiredness and lethargy of the condition.
If you believe yourself to be suffering from symptoms of fibromyalgia, you should consult a physician and discuss your symptoms with them.
Fibromyalgia is a very difficult condition to diagnose officially, as it does not show up on medical laboratory tests.
However, doctors are becoming ever more adept at recognizing the symptoms and forming a positive diagnosis.
Getting an official diagnosis can be extremely helpful for a number of reasons. It allows you access to treatments and professional advice on the condition, but it can also be helpful in giving you some peace of mind as they can offer help with coping with it.
In addition to this, there are many remedies that can be sought out or even applied at home, and making use of these can help make the condition more livable.
By keeping yourself informed of the different treatments for fibromyalgia, you can work to find a combination of treatments and remedies which help you with living with the condition.
Of course, talking to your doctor is always the best course of action, as their knowledge and expertise on the subject will prove invaluable and could help to steer you in the right direction. If you are unsure of anything, they are the person to ask.