Let me help.
When you go to buy a bed (and you should have a good one if you have chronic pain), you will be hearing the "latest" in FMS theory. Apparently, according to the Jordans Furniture Sleep Lab tech, pain clinics for major hospitals in the area are still advising buying a bed for pressure points. Really?
FMS theory is stuck in the dark ages. Probably because no doctors with FMS are writing anything. Oh wait, ARE there any doctors with FMS? Doubtful.
So that leaves you with moi, yours truly, to give you some sound ideas when it comes to choosing a bed & sleeping well in it:
- Take a medicinal approach to sleep. What do I mean by this? Just this: Sleep is a medicine, not a luxury. According to some, FMS patients have an underlying sleep disorder. So get what you need in a bed, not what you want. This means avoiding the cushy, comfortable ones that you sink into and that relieve whatever pressure point pain you may have (this is merely the symptoms). And focus on the solution instead: increasing oxygen flow to your blood cells. So a medicinal bed means one that keeps your back perfectly flat, allowing your diaphragm to expand UPWARD when you breath, not downward into the bed. Your hips should sink into the bed slightly, but not your back. If your shoulders roll forward, they will collapse your chest posture and you will not breathe effectively all night long. Avoid any plush tops, use a flat surface only. This is the bed I ended up buying, that worked for me. It is a hand-tufted mattress from Jordan's Mattress Factory that has a foam exterior and inner springs.
- Sleep on your back most of the night. Put a rolled up hand-towel under your neck, and another one under your back. This was taught to my be my first chiropractor years ago, and I have slept like this ever since. Have a pillow handy for when you roll onto your side. But spend as much time as possible on your back. This will ensure the most efficient breathing and minimize the time your muscles spend in awkward positions.
- Sleep on the floor if needed. If you are in a place with a bad bed, move to the floor. I routinely sleep on the floor, even if in the most exotic locations. When you get a hotel room, ask for an extra blanket and sheet, and start the night prepared to switch to the floor. Even a few minutes with your back straight on the floor will realign your body and breathing.
- Focus on breathing, not comfort. If you subscribe to the reality that you have pain because your blood cells are misshapen, and have trouble getting through the little capillaries to carry oxygen to your body, you will focus first on breathing. You will be more comfortable if you breathe effectively, and focus on that as the priority, than if you sink into soft pillows or a bed that interferes with your breathing patterns. And if you are like me, and it actually feels better NOT to breathe sometimes, then you must prioritize oxygen flow. You may not want to do it naturally. (Don't ask me what this is, but sometimes it hurts to expand my lungs, and I hold my breath involuntarily. Not good.)
- Get out of bed in 7 hours or less. I have found that 6.5 hours is ideal sleep for me. Sometimes I need more, and sometimes less. But lounging in bed makes me feel WORSE, not better. If you are in pain, get out of bed. Do not expect your bed to provide something more for you in the next few hours than it did in the last few. Beds have limited function. Get in a hot/cold shower, go for a walk. Get your blood flowing, and do not expect bed rest to help you.
Need a simple way to remember how to lower your pain when sleeping?
When in doubt, chose oxygen over comfort.
Your body will thank you.