7 Tips for Coping With Fibromyalgia-Related Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the hallmark symptoms of fibromyalgia and many experience it most acutely in the morning.

What can you do about morning fatigue due to fibromyalgia? Try these seven tips to start your days off right.

1. Get a good night's rest.

Insomnia, restless leg syndrome, pain, and frequent waking are common with fibromyalgia. Any of these symptoms can prevent you from reaching the deep, restorative stages of slumber necessary for tissue repair and healing.

  • Practice good sleep hygiene. This means establishing regular sleep and wake times; using your bedroom only for sleep and sex; not watching TV or using your computer before bed; keeping your bedroom cool; avoiding naps; and eliminating caffeine and alcohol.
  • Adjust your pain medication schedule. If middle-of-the-night aches and pains are keeping you awake, ask your doctor about taking a dose at nighttime. This may require a change in the quantity of pills prescribed.
  • Ask your doctor about natural and prescription sleep remedies including melatonin, antihistamines, antidepressants, and others.
  • Consider acupuncture for insomnia and restless legs.

2. Wake up earlier.

This may be tricky if you arise feeling fatigued, but allowing yourself ample time to wake up and get moving without rushing can make a big difference in how your physical and emotional state the rest of the day.

3. Exercise.

Nothing boosts your energy level faster than fitness. Start your morning with some gentle stretching, a little yoga or Tai Chi, and/or a walk. Commit to more vigorous exercise later in the day when your energy level is higher.

4. Hydrate and nourish.

Substitute a big glass of water and some green tea for your usual morning caffeinated beverage. Eat a healthy breakfast that includes protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats.

5. Quit smoking.

Nicotine addiction (and waiting for the next cigarette) can keep people awake at night. Cigarettes contain a cocktail of chemicals that are linked with reduced cardiovascular and respiratory function, increased pain, and a host of other health problems associated with fatigue.

6. Get your hormones checked.

Thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are just a few of the hormones that contribute to energy levels and metabolism. Talk to your doctor about getting checked for hormone imbalances that may be corrected with medication or treatment.

7. Manage depression.

Anxiety and depression often manifest as fatigue and are common symptoms for patients who live with chronic pain, physical limitations, and illness-related frustrations. Counseling, medication, and a variety of therapies are usually successful for treating underlying depression and improving patients' energy.