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Sleeping help is out there, available for all

Dear Annie: I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I am writing to ask you to please publish my letter in your column, as I believe that given your wide audience, this will provide the greatest possibility of helping other FMS patients.

Getting a good night's sleep is very difficult for FMS patients. For some, it never happens. Since my symptoms ramped up last year, I have not had a single good night's sleep. I wake every hour to carefully and painfully rearrange myself in the bed. Once I am settled, it is hard to fall back asleep. When I do, I wake again an hour later. And that is with a sleeping pill, deep-breathing practice and proper relaxation techniques.

But thanks to my massage therapist (God bless her!), since last Thursday night, I have had the best sleep I've had in a very long time.

She recommended a heated mattress pad, which I purchased online.

It was worth every penny. The pad is designed to fit over a 21-inch mattress and has 11 settings, including a preheating setting. As my husband did not want it on his side, I bought the twin size and simply laid it out on top of our regular mattress pad and underneath the bottom sheet.

I set it to preheat while I'm bathing and getting ready for bed so the bed is warm when I get in. Then I set it to the low setting. For the first time in months, I do not wake every hour to painfully turn over in the bed. Except for getting up to go to the bathroom, I sleep all night. In the morning, upon waking, I am not stiff the way I used to be.

I can't tell you how much it helps to have decent rest. It does not fix everything, but it does make everything else easier to manage. It's been marvelous, a true blessing. I want to let fibromyalgia patients know about this wonderful possible solution. -- Finally Sleeping

Dear Finally: Thank you so much for sharing this tip. I'm happy to publish it, as there's a chance it will help one of the estimated 5 million Americans suffering from fibromyalgia to find some relief.

To those wondering about the symptoms of and treatments for fibromyalgia, visit the National Fibromyalgia Association's website (http://www.fmaware.org).

Dear Annie: The recent letter from "Charged-Up Spouse" highlighted a husband's problem with his wife's taking his iPhone chargers. I'm not sure whether putting colored tape on his chargers will really solve the problem. I think my husband came up with the best solution. He says the husband should buy an Android phone for himself. Because Androids use a different kind of charging cord than iPhones, his wife would not find it necessary to borrow his chargers. -- Camille

Dear Camille: A new phone and all its service fees would probably be more than most of us could afford to spend on settling a spouse's annoying habit. But it's a clever idea; I'll grant you that.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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