When you’re living with chronic pain conditions including fibromyalgia and CFS/ME, sleep and sleep issues, play a significant role in our lives. So! I thought I would share with you my top 5 best sleep products for fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and chronic pain.
Ps. I have now added another two bonuses in this blog …a number 6 best sleep product, and also some further information about supplements and sleep. Read on to find out more. 🙂
IS A POOR QUALITY OF SLEEP AFFECTING PAIN, BRAIN FOG AND DEPRESSION/ANXIETY?
As many of you know, getting a good, well-rested sleep – you know the sleep where you wake up feeling refreshed and better – is the dream for many of us.
Here is a very tale-telling study carried out on how Sleep Loss Exacerbates Fatigue, Depression, and Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Getting a good sleep is paramount!
Ps. One of the main issues that can cause sleep disturbances and insomnia are…opiate medications.
Knowing What’s Causing Sleep Problems is Key!
I was finally able to determine that it was Tramadol and Tylenol 3 that were the culprits for NINE YEARS of insomnia! Seriously.
Here’s a good article about Pain, Opioids and Insomnia, if you’re interested in finding out more about how opiates affect sleep.
The following article has affiliate links in it. Should you click a link and purchase a product, the commission we earn (as a not-for-profit social enterprise), helps us to keep our website going. You will never pay extra for buying, and any purchases made are most appreciated! Thank you!
HERE ARE MY TOP 5* BEST SLEEP PRODUCTS TO HELP YOU GET A GOOD SLEEP!
1. A GOOD MATTRESS/MATTRESS TOPPER
Firstly, let’s start off with the base issue for many – a comfortable mattress is, of course, the key component to ensuring you are getting the support and comfort you require.
Did you know that a mattress should be replaced every 7 years according to the Sleep Council?
And that’s for ‘normal’ people who generally only sleep in it…versus people with chronic pain, fibromyalgia and CFS/ME, who may be spending a lot more time in bed!
If possible, I highly recommend physically trying a mattress first before buying…and if that is impossible, make sure that if you buy a mattress/mattress topper online that there is a full refund policy and a good amount of trial nights, so that if you are not happy the company can refund you.
(You may want to keep the old mattress until you are 100% sure – believe me, I speak from experience!).
FOAM OR NO FOAM, THAT IS THE QUESTION
I know many people who swear by memory foam mattresses – and people who find that their foam mattress is way too hot for them.
So, it is imperative if you are making an investment in a mattress to ensure that if it doesn’t suit you can be refunded, as mentioned above.
I couldn’t get rid of the smell, and was VERY concerned that we were sleeping in a toxic cocoon!
Needless to say that I sent my foam mattress back to the seller! (Luckily, I had time left on my money-back guarantee) and found something that had an organic certification and was non-toxic.
In saying that, these mattresses are not always cheap – or easy to find. Probably the best option is an organic wool or alpaca mattress – however, the support for someone living with pain issues may be questionable. So, the next best option is finding something that has a non-toxic certification.
T&N Adaptive Foam Mattress: Sleeps Cooler | Good Pressure Support for Pain| Certi-PUR & Oeko-Tex 100 Certified, 10-Year Warranty.
Certified Non-Toxic. Cool & Comfortable. Excellent Support for Pain. Great Customer Service, Too!
What I Looked For In My New Mattress:
- Long sleep trial time (such as 100 nights)
- Non-toxic certification
- Good support for pain relief
- Good reviews
- 10 year warranty
- Cooling properties
- Good customer support
I’m happy to share the Tuft & Needle mattress, from Amazon, as it meets all my standards.
If you don’t want to buy a new mattress, then a mattress topper may be the answer! They’re not too expensive and can really revolutionize your bed and comfort levels. Feather mattress topper.
IT IS LIKE SLEEPING ON A CLOUD!
It took weeks to be able to walk properly, and 2 trips to the chiropractor! For 2 nights on an un-supportive mattress! So…think about how YEARS on your mattress may be causing you all sorts of pain and problems sleeping???
*The top 5 best sleep products is now top 6! 🙂 And number 6 is an awesome one!
2. THE CHRONIC PAIN (MATERNITY!) PILLOW
One of the best investments that I have made, hand’s down, is buying a maternity pillow.
Like the ones that are a ‘U’ or ‘C’ shape. Did you know that there are pillows that are ‘U’ shaped that zipper off to make an ‘L’ shape? Like, how awesome, is that?!
Maternity Pillows – Great for Comfort & Support!
No, I’m not pregnant, but yes, I sure need comfort and support for hip, neck, and back pain!
And a good maternity pillow definitely will do the job, amazingly well! (Who needs a bed buddy to snuggle up to, when you have one of these pillows! Seriously! Plus the cats love making a nest in the middle when I’m not using it…Ok, they make a nest on top of me, when I am! :)).
How I Use the Maternity Pillow…
I have turned my U-shaped ‘pain pillow’ around so that there is an area to go under my legs for support and to take the pressure off my lower back and hips.
And I love how it cradles me and provides support, even when lying on my side.
Contoured U-shaped body pillow helps support your back, hips, knees, neck, and head to help ease discomfort from sciatica, fibromyalgia. A game-changer in the bedroom!
- No repositioning during the night, simply turn from side to side
- Curves snug and supports your entire back, hips, and front
- Aligns hips for neutral joint positioning
- Ideal for sciatica, gastric reflux, congestion, fibromyalgia, and carpal tunnel syndrome
There’s lots of different shapes and sizes for maternity (pain!) pillows out there!
Everyone is unique unto themselves regarding how they sleep, their mobility, pain levels and what suits them best. Finding a maternity pillow size and shape that suits your needs can truly make a difference!
Update: The PharMeDoc body pillow with a detachable extension is awesome and still remains a #1 investment for comfort, sleep …and pain! Highly recommended!
3. BAMBOO BEDDING
You read that right. Bamboo!?
Are you thinking scratchy, uncomfortable and, well, yucky? Think again!
Think luxuriously silky soft. Think all-natural and amazingly comfortable.
On top of it all, you can get organic bamboo bedding that has never been exposed to harsh (and toxic) chemicals.
The 100% organic bamboo sheets that we have are literally like sleeping on the finest, softest Egyptian cotton with 300 thread count….
Trust me on this one. Bamboo bedding absolutely ROCKS.
Why I Love My Bamboo Bedding So Much…
- Great for night sweats – they are moisture wicking
- Super soft
- Hypoallergenic, antibacterial and odour resistant – the ideal sleep environment for all the family and perfect for those with eczema or sensitive skin
- Made from organically grown bamboo. Certified to OEKO-TEX Standard 100 – free from harmful chemicals
- Breathable, absorbent and moisture wicking – more so than cotton – helping to regulate body temperature and aiding coolness in summer and warmth in winter
My mother informed me about bamboo bedding last year. My mother rarely raves about anything, and she was sure raving about her sheets! And now I know way! #BambooBeddingRocks
Amazingly Soft, Breathable & 100% Organic...Once You've Tried These Bamboo Sheets, There's No Going Back!
4. WHITE NOISE | SOUND MACHINE
As someone who has fibromyalgia and struggles with feeling hot, I tend to have my fan on 365 days of the year. However, it wasn’t until I didn’t have my fan running that I struggled to sleep even more.
And then I had an ‘Aha!’ moment! The fan makes what is known as a white noise, and tends to lull me to sleep.
Which brings me to the next great product…a white noise machine, otherwise known as a sound machine.
Sleep Easy & Relax with 24 Noises Including Forest Sounds, Waves, Fetal Tone & More!
I love this Douni white noise/sound machine. Not only because it is made from real wood vs plastic, but because it also has 24 great sounds to help you gently fall into sleep. Plus, it’s lightweight, small, and portable, too!
The Douni has three different categories:
- 7 Fan sounds
- 7 White Noises
- 10 Classical Nature Sounds
Some of the noises Douni offers are: Ocean Waves, Forest, Thunder, Brook, Crickets, Train, Clock Ticking, Campfire, Lullaby and Fetal Tone.
5. ORGANIC BUCKWHEAT PILLOW
I discovered the Zen organic buckwheat hull pillow because I was looking for something that was all-natural, preferably organic, and had some weight that could be contoured around my and my husband’s necks.
- 100% Organic, 100% Bio-degradable, 100% Natural!
- So versatile like having several different pillows in one! – Adjust to any position! High, Low, Soft or Firm.
- Fully supports the head, neck & shoulders!
- Zipped for removal of contents for adjustment and cleaning – Keeps you cool in the summer, and warm in the winter!
- No Mites, No Toxins – Just Natural Buckwheat and Organic Cotton Drill!
- Wonderful Eco-product. Grown without Pesticides & Herbicides, simply because the sturdy plant has no attraction to Insects & Mites.
- Can help reduce neck and shoulder pain
Contoured Comfort: We love how the Zen pillow contours around our necks and shoulders giving support just where it is needed…and the ability to adjust the amount of filling makes this organic buckwheat pillow excellent.
You can also remove some of the buckwheat easily, should you find that the pillow is too high for you.
Bye Bye Feathered Friends…
In trying all sorts of pillows over the past few years, I always went back to my tried and trusted friends…of the feathered variety, AKA a good feather pillow.
Problem was cleaning them was a nightmare. (Feathers EVERYWHERE in the dryer…all over the house!).
Hasta la vista dust mites…
On top of this, my husband and I started to get blocked up noses and coughing during the night…Which is actually a sign of dust mites! (Another reason I like the Zen pillow, dust mites and insects are disinterested…!).
Ps. These breathing issues stopped immediately when I replaced the feather pillows with these organic buckwheat pillows. Here’s more info about replacing your pillow…
Did you know you should replace your pillow every year?
Yep. According to Sleep Advisor’s article, How Often Should You Change (and Clean) Your Pillows, they state every few weeks you should clean them and every year replace them!
(I put an exclamation mark because the feather pillows I was using were from my childhood (I am 49) and are probably much older than me. #eeeeeek (Yes, they do have pillow protectors on, but still…). Heck, they were probably brought over from the old country, and just had new(ish) ticking. Double eeeeeeeek.
Here’s just a few reasons why you should change your pillows every year (and wash them every few weeks)…
- Hygiene – You sweat. You drool. #ew
- Dust mites – Dust mites are microscopic arachnids live all over your house, including on pillows, toys, linens, furniture, blankets, and elsewhere! And they poop. These droppings can trigger allergic and asthmatic reactions.
Pillow Protection Power!
All of the above reasons mean that if anything, make sure you invest in some good pillow protector covers. Did you know that you can buy organic cotton pillow protectors? Yep. Why breathe in herbicides, pesticides and other nasty chemicals imbedded in cotton when you have a choice?
Bonus Round…..Now For Our Number 6 Top Sleep Product
Drum roll please….!
The Weighted Blanket!!!
The first time I heard about weighted blankets had to do with my father, who has Alzheimer’s. They are used to help calm people who are anxious and to help them get a better rest. The blanket did seem to help my dad calm down, which was a huge relief.
After I bought my own weighted blanket, I realized why I always LOVE the winter! Because it meant I could break out my super heavy duvet and blankets, and achieve that ‘heavy feeling’ on top of me. It meant I felt safe and secure. And like I was wrapped in a hug! And that’s exactly what weighted blankets provide…the chemicals released from a hug!
The Science Behind Weighted/Gravity Blankets
Weighted blankets (also called gravity blankets) provide a form of therapy called DPT – Deep Pressure Touch. In other words…a hug. And hugs release seratonin – something many of us with fibromyalgia are lacking.
The Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders supplied weighted blankets for insomnia to 31 participants. Using the weighted blankets, the participants exhibited a more improved and calmer sleep. Additionally, the blankets also helped decrease movement throughout the sleep cycle, meaning that participants got a more restful sleep. Furthermore, the participants claimed better, more comfortable sleep, and also noted feeling more secure during sleep.
Who Benefits From Weighted Blankets?
There are numerous studies for weighted blankets for both children and adults living with:
- Chronic pain
A Non-Medicated Option for Sleep
Made from thousands and thousands of small glass or ceramic beads and sewn into small squares across the blanket (so that the weight is evenly distributed), a weighted blanket could just be the ticket to help you feel cocooned, safe and secure, enabling you to get a night of better sleep, without medication.
Weighted Blankets Aren’t For Everyone
If you suffer from any of the following, you may not want to invest in a weighted blanket:
- Respiratory problems
- Temperature regulation problems
- Allodynia (skin sensitivity)
- Circulatory problems
Weighted Blankets Are An Investment
Be prepared to pay between $50-$300 for a good quality blanket. Personally, because I love bamboo and its moisture-wicking capabilities, on top of being super-soft, getting a weighted blanket with a bamboo cover was important for me. (Ps. not all weighted blankets have covers!). Also, not all expensive blankets are good quality and vice versa. Read the reviews!
That’s why I recommend this particular weighted blanket with an organic bamboo cover.
Important to Know!
Before buying a weighted blanket, you need to ensure that you are getting the correct weight – based on your body weight.
The weighted blanket should be between 10-12% of your body weight, distributing weight evenly across your body.
Getting a blanket that’s too light isn’t going to do the job that you bought it for, and too heavy is going to be just, too heavy!
Supplements to Help You Sleep Better
Struggling to get to sleep when you’re already exhausted, in pain and dealing with complex health conditions such as fibromyalgia and/or CFS/ME, only makes things worse.
In addition to improving my bedding, I have also started taking several supplements and I have noticed drastic improvements with my sleep. These supplements are:
- Ashwagandha – an Ayervedic herb used for thousands of years; excellent for calm and relaxation
- St Johns Wort – Great for improving mood, anxiety and depression
- 5 HTP – Natural sleep aid, mood support and much more
- Magnesium Complex – 80% of us are magnesium deficient, causing sleep problems, headaches/migraines, aches & pains & many other symptoms!
Shutting Down to Shut Off for Sleep
Did you know that Bluelight has a dark side? After reading about how Bluelight from our computer screens and phones seriously can affect our health and our sleep, I invested in a pair of Bluelight screen protection glasses.
I also *attempt* to stop looking at my smartphone and computer at least an hour before bed, now.
PREVENT HARMFUL BLUE LIGHT THAT'S AFFECTING YOUR SLEEP & HEALTH!
Struggling to Sleep Sucks!
However, by making these slight changes to my bedtime routine, adding supplements and using the bedding mentioned in this article I have definitely seen a huge improvement with my sleep, hands down!
Hopefully, my tried, tested and true top 5 best sleep products for people with fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and chronic pain can help you to become more comfortable too. May the sleep fairy come and wave her magic wand over you so that you can get some much-needed, healing sleep!
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