Sleep resets the nervous system- and POTS is an autonomic nervous disorder. Sleep is the time the body has to rest & repair itself. When we get poor sleep, our body has less time to repair & rest. Our nervous system has less time to reset.
Personally, lack of sleep is the biggest trigger for my POTS symptoms, followed closely by dehydration. Even if I take all of my medications and hydrate, if I slept poorly I generally feel poorer than usual.
Unfortunately, quality sleep can be difficult for those with autonomic disorders, POTS included.
Studies have shown that those with POTS sometimes spend less time in REM sleep. They may have a harder time falling asleep, staying asleep, or may wake up feeling unrefreshed.
If you are having trouble sleeping with POTS, talk to your doctor.
Sleep hygiene and bedtime routines are often the first line of treatment. The more clues you can give to your body and nervous system that it is time to rest, the better.
My personal tips for improving sleep in POTS:
– Take melatonin 2 hours before desired sleep time
– If adrenaline surge, lay with ice pack on chest
– No screens for 1 hour before bed
– Drink tea or do something calming before bed
– Listen to sleep story or guided meditation while falling asleep
– Ensure bedroom temperature is cool
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