Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Fibromyalgia

Last Updated on September 14, 2020

by Marc Werner, Founder - Ghostbed

Are you suffering lack of sleep due to fibromyalgia? Read our comprehensive guide on getting a fibromyalgia sufferer comfortably to sleep, along with the best mattress to buy.

Fibromyalgia is an evil autoimmune chronic disorder that causes immense pain throughout the body seemingly on a constant basis. The pain contributes to symptoms of severe fatigue and decreased energy. It is common for one with fibromyalgia to agonize with insomnia, waking often during sleep, leading to a constant feeling of tiredness.

Sufferers also suffer with horrible stiffness when waking from being in a specific position for too long. For one who is in this constant cycle of pain and sleep problems it is imperative that they seek the best mattress for fibromyalgia. This will help promote comfort and allow for the best sleep possible, while also helping relieve the pain on pressure points.

While you should consult your doctor for a treatment plan, quality sleep is important regardless of underlying medical conditions.

Overview: Best Mattress for Fibromyalgia

Our pick for the best mattress for fibromyalgia is…

Cooling/breathable elements, edge support, memory foam to adapt/contour to your body shape and relieve pressure buildup(without being TOO soft). Universal feel so you get a nice balance of contour and support.

Mattresses that have good support and mold to one’s body help people with fibromyalgia sleep better by reducing pressure points.

Woman with fibromyalgia in bed

I. Sleeping Benefits for Fibromyalgia

II. The Best Sleeping Positions for Fibromyalgia

III. Other Tips for Sleeping With Fibromyalgia

IV. Fibromyalgia Sleeping FAQs

V. GhostBed’s Mattress Pick for Fibromyalgia

I. How Does Fibromyalgia Affect Sleep?

Many fibromyalgia sufferers are also more sensitive to temperature. Not only can the pain and temperature sensitivity associated with the condition lead to poor sleep, but fibromyalgia may also be linked to other sleep problems, including disruptive sleep, a lack of restorative sleep, and/or insomnia. Many individuals with fibromyalgia also suffer from sleep apnea and/or restless leg syndrome, making it even more difficult to get much-needed rest.

Getting a good night’s rest is key to recovery for both the body and mind from the stress of daily activities. Since most of this healing occurs during deep sleep cycles, it makes sense why not getting enough sleep leads to soreness and increased stress levels.

Sleep Apnea

Snoring is commonly a sign of having sleep apnea. This is a chronic disorder that occurs with the blocking of the airway causing breathing to stop and restart repeatedly during sleep. Signs of sleep apnea are if you snore very loud and are tired even after a full period of sleep. This disorder has the risk of causing arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat. People with sleep apnea may stop breathing hundreds of times during one given night, and treatment often requires use of a CPAP machine. The most common form of this condition is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is caused by a physical obstruction in the breathing passage. Although the connection between OSA and fibromyalgia has not been pinned down, researchers note that men and women with the latter are 10 times more likely to also experience apnea symptoms.

Fatigue/Insomina

There are two main types of insomnia: sleep-onset insomnia, which causes people to struggle when trying to fall asleep; and sleep-maintenance insomnia, which makes it difficult to remain asleep. There are many causes of insomnia, including conditions like fibromyalgia that can disrupt sleep due to widespread pain.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome, or RLS, is characterized by painful itching or tingling sensations in one or both legs when the individual is lying in bed. Roughly 10% of the U.S. population lives with RLS. Because fibromyalgia magnifies painful sensations, RLS symptoms can lead to significant sleep loss. Roughly half of people with fibromyalgia also have RLS.

Pain Reprieve

Being in constant pain can be unnerving and lead to issues such as difficulty falling asleep and restless leg syndrome. Having a good night’s sleep will help begin a cycle of having a more productive day with some pain relief, which, in turn, will lead to better sleep the following night. Sleep gives the body much needed time to repair damaged tissues in to allow the body to get a reprieve from pain.

Anxiety Relief

The pain from fibromyalgia leads to a cycle of constant anxiety over not being able to sleep and function like a normal human being. Having a proper night’s sleep is essential to help repair the body and mind. By having the best mattress for fibromyalgia this will help sufferers lessen anxiety issues regarding being able to fall asleep and stay asleep, which will also keep anxiety levels down during waking hours.

Improves Thought Process

Those with this problem often suffer what is called a fibro fog. This happens when one loses concentration in what they are doing or saying. Proper sleep leads to better concentration and less episodes of fibro fog.

Fibromyalgia vs. Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia have similar symptoms, including joint and muscle pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome, while RA is a systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the joints and causes joint damage and can affect other organs.

II. The Best Sleeping Positions for Fibromyalgia

Side Sleeping

With Fibromyalgia causing pain in tender spots throughout the body, sleeping on the side can be the best way to help relieve pressure on these points, thus reduce pain while sleeping. The fetal position is the best way to reduce pain in the shoulders, lower back, chest, and back of knees. Bring knees up towards chest as if a baby in the womb. Experts feel that this helps to open and rehydrate discs in the back to reduce the lower back pain.

On Back with Raised Knees

Sleeping on the back can also relieve pain but the trick is to place a pillow below the knees to raise them. This allows for back pressure to be relieved and tender spots causing pain to be cushioned. Raising the knees takes body weight off the pelvis. In turn this method raises torso height allowing for strain on the lower back to be alleviated. Use a flat pillow in the back position to calm pain in the shoulder blades, upper back, and neck.

Stomach on Pillow

Although the stomach may turn the neck and cause stress there is relief for fibro sufferers who want to sleep on the stomach. Instead of using a pillow under the head, place the pillow under the stomach. This helps to prevent the back from arching the wrong way, thus reducing pressure and pain.

III. Other Tips for Sleeping With Fibromyalgia

  • Relax your mind and soul before sleep. Several relaxation therapies can help those in pain to get better sleep. Have your someone give you a gentle massage but tell them to be careful to not be too tough on the painful pressure points. Other relaxation techniques that will help promote a deeper restful sleep, are deep breathing exercises and counting down from 100 to reduce thoughts of pain lingering in the mind and allow you to drift off to sleep.
  • Exercising on a regular basis in the morning hours can help relieve overall pain and give one a better sleep at nighttime. Exercise will stretch the muscles and get them going for the day and will, in turn, also promote a better sleep pattern.
  • Try to keep to a regular routine of what time you go to bed as well as the time you wake. Also, make sure to only sleep as much as your body requires to be fueled for the day. Too long of sleep time can lead to broken sleep patterns. A good sleep routine will help the body’s circadian cycling and help normalize sleeping.
  • Get a great pillow. For people with fibromyalgia, the most important factor when choosing a pillow is ‘loft,’ or thickness. Using the correct loft can help alleviate pain and pressure in the neck, shoulders, and head, while the incorrect loft can make these issues worse. To determine the best pillow loft, sleepers should take their weight, sleep position, and mattress firmness into account. Pillows that are popular among people with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions include buckwheat, latex, and memory foam models. Other pillows types, such as down alternative and polyfoam, may increase the amount of pain and pressure that these individuals feel. For more information about pillow soft and selection, please check out Best Pillows: Buying Guide and Information page.
A high-quality mattress can help you relieve fibromyalgia symptoms as you sleep

Fibromyalgia Sleeping FAQs

Are there specific mattress pads and toppers that can help with fibromyalgia pain?

Mattress pads that are heated act as if one big heating pad in helping to sooth pain. Many provide specific heating zones with on and off timers. Those who prefer cooling for pain relief can purchase gel cooling pads or toppers that work to absorb body heat.

On Back with Raised Knees

Shopping for a mattress can be difficult for anyone, but for those in constant pain it can be a daunting task. Aim to look for a mattress that will provide the softness needed to cradle the tender pain spots while also being firm enough as to not sink in. The memory foam bed is the best mattress for fibromyalgia, as it allows for support of all body contours, while also being soft and firm enough to get out of easily.

What is the best firmness level to sleep on?

Although the stomach may turn the neck and cause stress there is relief for fibro sufferers who want to sleep on the stomach. Instead of using a pillow under the head, place the pillow under the stomach. This helps to prevent the back from arching the wrong way, thus reducing pressure and pain.

IV. GhostBed’s Mattress Pick for Fibromyalgia

Sleeping with fibromyalgia is a difficult task. With pain being constant it is a never-ending struggle to find the comfort required to get a good night’s sleep. By seeking out the best mattress for fibromyalgia it will help in easing pain and promoting a better quality of sleep.

GhostBed is an ideal mattress for those who struggle with fibromyalgia, with real customers reviewing their experience.

When an individual lies down, their wider, heavier body parts generally put more force on the mattress. On some mattresses, this could lead to pressure buildup. Any sleeper could experience aches and pains as a result of pressure points. However, since people with fibromyalgia usually already experience significant pain, added discomfort could be more problematic for them. Therefore, those suffering from fibromyalgia are likely to prefer a mattress with strong pressure relief.

The ideal firmness varies based on an individual’s weight, sleep position, and personal preferences. As a general rule, lighter individuals usually prefer softer models and heavier individuals generally favor firmer models.

A sturdy edge can make it easier to use the full surface of the mattress. This may be important to couples who want the extra space that sleeping close to the perimeter of the bed affords. Fibromyalgia sufferers whose pains make it harder to get into or out of bed may also prefer a strong perimeter so that they can sit near the edge of the bed without it feeling unstable.

People with fibromyalgia may appreciate pressure relief from contouring, but those who have mobility issues and like to change positions during the night may find close contouring somewhat restrictive.

Memory foam is usually most associated with heat retention, but many memory foam models use special materials and construction techniques to keep the sleep surface cooler. Innerspring, hybrid, and latex models tend to be breathable, which allows heat to dissipate away from the sleeper’s body.

People with fibromyalgia may change positions throughout the night in order to find the most comfortable sleep position. Some mattresses are easier to move on than others, so fibromyalgia sufferers with mobility issues may prefer a model that rates well for ease of movement.

Memory foam often hugs closely to the sleeper’s body and usually responds relatively slowly to changes in pressure, which could contribute to a “trapped in the bed” feel. Mattresses that use foams engineered for responsiveness, latex, and/or coils are usually easier to move on.

Also choose a mattress with a great warranty and sleep trial.

When it comes to GhostBed mattresses, which is the best for couples? Our top picks are the GhostBed Flex and the GhostBed Luxe. Both are customer favorites that provide unmatched support and comfort, with a universal feel that both partners will love.

Compare them below and check out some of the customer reviews:

GhostBed Flex GhostBed Luxe
GhostBed Flex Layers Shop Now GhostBed Luxe Layers Shop Now
Individually-Wrapped Coils + Gel Memory Foam Gel Memory Foam and Latex
From $1145
As low as $69/mo
From $799
As low as $55/mo
Medium (5.5 - 6.5 out of 10) Medium-Plush (5.5 - 6.5 out of 10)
Best Choice If...

- You’re making the switch from a traditional innerspring mattress

- You love the idea of supportive coils combined with comforting gel memory foam (the best of both worlds!)

- You want a mattress that contours to your body without making you feel "sunk in"

- Sleeping cool is a major priority

- You dream of a soft yet supportive mattress, but you prefer a plusher top

- You’re looking for relief from neck, shoulder or hip pain

Sleeper Style

- All sleeper types: stomach, back, side and combo

- All sleeper types: stomach, back, side and combo

- Couples with slightly different comfort preferences

Compare All GhostBed Mattresses


Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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After undergoing three neck surgeries, Marc knew what it was like to live and sleep in constant pain. In 2001, after searching fruitlessly for a comfortable pillow and mattress that supported his neck and back ... Learn More

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