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Who Knew Sleeping Could Be Such A Problem?
Feeling uncomfortable, tossing and turning and experiencing burning stinging pains from the slightest touch of bedding on sensitive skin. This is how many people with fibromyalgia spend their nights while trying to get an all important good night’s sleep.
As if the constant fatigue, brain fog and aches and pains aren’t enough, skin sensitivity can make this illness a living nightmare to deal with and makes the illness even more mystifying for those around you to understand.
This affliction known as Allodynia means a simple pat on the back from a well meaning boss or colleague can cause extreme discomfort if you have it. Even a normally welcome gentle shoulder rub from a partner or friend is unbearable if you have fibromyalgia with allodynia which leaves sufferers with a heightened sensitivity to anything touching the skin.
And it is not only fibromyalgia sufferers who can have allodynia, chronic fatigue syndrome and migraine sufferers can also experience it with the pain sensation ranging from mild to being severe and extremely debilitating.
Confusingly, allodynia can be widespread and felt in all areas of the body or it can be felt only in specific areas. As with other fibromyalgia symptoms it can come and go or be a constant companion. Each fibromyalgia sufferer experiences allodynia differently.
To make it even more tricky to understand and manage, allodynia can present in two ways, it can be triggered physically as already mentioned, by touch, or it can be triggered by a change in temperature.
What Does Allodynia Feel Like?
It can be felt as a burning sensation, like a mild sunburn or as an ache. Clothing and underwear can be extremely uncomfortable and wearing any type of restrictive clothing can be excruciating.
Socks, bras and tight waistbands can all cause pain for people with fibromyalgia. Even tags sewn into clothing or raised stitching can be an issue. Check out some of these suggestions for comfortable clothing and underwear that help with the skin sensitivity of fibromyalgia.
What Causes Allodynia?
Specialized nerves in the body known as nociceptors sense pressure and temperature in your immediate environment as a natural warning system for anything that could possibly cause harm to your skin.
In fibromyalgia, the nociceptors recognize normal sensations in an abnormal way, perceiving them as being painful. It is thought that neurochemical imbalances in the central nervous system are associated with central amplification of the way pain is perceived in those with allodynia
So with all of this going on how are you supposed to get a good night’s sleep? For people who are sensitive to various different textures, using the wrong types of sheets can result in a lot of discomfort and restless sleepless nights.
Before you set out to buy new bedlinen, it is good to understand the different factors that determine the feel of sheets and these include the type of fabric and yarn used, the thread count, the type of weave used and the composition of the fabric used in manufacture.
There are various types of fabrics used in manufacturing sheets, and some of the best types for fibromyalgia sufferers are:
- 100% Cotton
For many with fibromyalgia, temperature regulation is another frustrating symptom thrown into the mix. If this is the case we have some suggestions that can help too.
If you experience pain from sheets wrinkling, sheet straps can help with this as they attach to the mattress corners and help pull the sheets keeping them flatter. It is also important to make sure you find the right size of sheets to suit your mattress to ensure they stay flat and unwrinkled. It is worth taking the time to measure your mattress particularly the depth to find just the right size sheets to suit.
With a thick mattress, which many of us have for the extra comfort memory foam can give, make sure you buy sheets with a deep pocket so that it fits your mattress correctly preventing bunching and wrinkling. Conversely if your mattress isn’t extra deep go for sheets without extra depth or all that extra fabric will bunch up and wrinkle underneath you potentially causing pain.
Check out the suggestions below for the most comfortable sheets around. You’ll find a selection of different fabrics, weaves and fibers used to find the sheets that are perfect for you.
Whisper Organics 100% Cotton Bed sheets
Many people with fibromyalgia find chemicals make their symptoms worse and these 100% organic cotton sheets have certification from GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). This certification ensures their sheets are chemical free and non toxic.
Standard cotton crops use a lot of pesticides and chemicals in the growing phase. So if chemicals are a concern for you, or you are eco conscious try these 100% organic cotton sheets.
Woven with a sateen finish, these sheets have a silky smooth feel against the skin. One of the things that makes the sheets soft is the long staple cotton yarn used in the manufacture. Long staple cotton has finer fibers which makes the finished woven fabric feel silky and much softer.
And of course because cotton is a natural fiber it is breathable which helps keep you comfortable. Whisper Organic 100% cotton sheets are available in a few basic colors.
They offer a 90 day satisfaction guarantee, so if you are not happy with these sheets you can return them for a full refund.
California Design Den 100% Cotton Sateen Sheets
If organic isn’t a must have but you like 100% cotton sheets, another great option are these sheets by California Design Den. Also manufactured using extra long staple yarns and a sateen weave they offer a hotel luxury soft and smooth type feel. A sateen weave is used to create the structure of the fabric and results in a smooth and glossy appearance to the fabric.
Using very fine yarns and a 600 thread count, these sheets aren’t the cheapest around but they start out soft and get softer with each subsequent laundering. Many people with fibromyalgia comment that using cheap polyester sheets cause them greater discomfort. So it really is better to invest in sheets that will last longer and provide a lot more comfort during their lifespan.
These sheets are made in India, a country known for producing quality cotton goods and they are certified standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®.
MADE IN GREEN is the OEKO-TEX® association’s traceable textile label. This labelling ensures that the products have been produced under ethically responsible conditions for social and environmental concerns.
Each product manufactured has a unique ID or QR code that allows customers to trace the product supply chain back to the origin. And it ensures the product has been fully tested for harmful substances.
As well as testing for harmful substances, each batch of fabric is also tested for physical qualities to ensure it meets standards for wear, pilling, color fastness and shrinkage.
Available in a wide range of colors, patterns and sizes California Design Den also offers a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.
Cozy House Collection Luxury Bamboo Bed Sheets
Another fabric making inroads into the bedlinen world is bamboo rayon due to the softness and breathability of this type of fabric. The Cozy House Collection Luxury Bamboo sheets are made from a blend of bamboo rayon and polyester microfiber. With the microfiber adding to the soft and smooth feel of these sheets.
The sheets are breathable, soft and lightweight and stay cool helping you balance your body temperature for a restful sleep. The fabric is also easy care, with instruction to wash in cold water and tumble dry on low.
Made with thick corner straps and elastic all the way around the fitted bottom sheet these sheets stay put throughout the night. Offered in a wide range of plain dyed colors you are sure to find some you like.
The sheets come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Unlike the Cozy House Collection sheets above, these Royal Tradition sheets are made from 100% Bamboo Rayon making them extremely comfortable in all temperatures. The feel of these sheets is very soft similar to the hand feel of cashmere or silk.
And if temperature regulation is a real issue for you, sleeping in 100% bamboo rayon sheets could help. Bamboo rayon has natural moisture wicking properties helping you stay more comfortable when you feel flushed and hot.
Fabrics like bamboo rayon that wick moisture away are made with fibers whose structures naturally repel moisture and prevent absorption. So you will find that the unique fibers of bamboo don’t trap moisture, leaving you feeling a lot more comfortable.
These 100% bamboo rayon sheets are easy to care for, machine washable in cold water and you can tumble dry them on low heat. With a wide color range you will find just the right sheets to suit your bedroom.
Mellanni Brushed Microfiber Sheets
If you like the easy care aspect of polyester then these brushed microfiber sheets from Mellani may be just right for you. Personally I prefer to sleep in natural fabrics, but many people swear by these sheets for silky softness and comfort.
Very fine polyester yarns are used in the fabric which is brushed before finishing to create the soft surface on these sheets. If you love the crisp feel of cotton you ‘ll be disappointed, but the easy care properties of brushed microfiber polyester is a definite plus.
These sheets are made with deep pockets and elastic all the way around to help them stay flat and wrinkle free. You can wash them in cold water and tumble dry on low.
The photo above shows one of the contemporary patterns, however they are also available in a huge range of plain dyed colors too.
Mellani offer a 100% money back refund if the sheets don’t suit you.
LilySilk Real Silk Sheets
If your budget allows, try real silk sheets. A natural product, silk is soft and smooth and helps with temperature regulation to help you feel comfortable no matter the season. Like bamboo it has natural moisture wicking abilities, so if you are a hot sleeper 100% silk sheets can help.
They are very soft and lightweight against your skin and silk sheets can add an elegant look in your bedroom to boot.
Like the California Den sheets above Lilysilk real silk sheets come with OEKO-Tex Standard 100 Certification ensuring the fabric is constructed without the use of harmful chemicals.
This sheet is a bottom sheet only so the initial outlay for silk bedding is expensive, but many people think it is worth it for a more comfortable and pain free sleep. Silk sheets are not as easy care as some other choices with cold water gentle washing and line drying a requirement.
Putting It All Together
So there you have it, a selection of the most comfortable sheets to help fibromyalgia sufferers get a pain free sleep.
As always, to help fellow sufferers please leave a comment below with any recommendations for sheets you swear are the best you’ve ever tried for fibromyalgia.