Need help sleeping

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/22/2009 11:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to help me stay asleep during the night. I wake up every night, numerous times. It has become a problem recently because not only am I waking up, but I am also waking my boyfriend up. I have tried sleeping pills, but they make me so drowsy the next day that I really don't like taking them. Lyrica seemed to help, but it is a bit on the expensive side. I am looking for a more holistic approach. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 10/22/2009 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Chauncey!

Nice to meet you and welcome to the fibro family!! I do understand about not wanting to take pills, even though that's what I've resorted to finally. You might talk to your doctor about other approaches to better sleep. There are lots of things that can be tried besides 'sleeping pill'. I'm not sure what your definition of 'sleeping pills' is but one thing that many people find works well is Ambien. It doesn't knock you out but once you fall asleep it helps you stay asleep. One thing you have painfully discovered about fibro is that getting long, restful sleep is part of the disorder and without it the fibro pain is worse. Our bodies can't repair like they should during a good overnight sleep cycle.

You might also look towards other possible causes of your sleep problem besides the obvious...fibro. Is your bed comfortable? Does b/f snore and keep you awake? Worrying about other things in life? Do you have restless leg syndrome? Short on Vit. D? The list is almost endless it seems.

There are lots of other things to try also. Things like a long, very warm bath before bedtime can help quite a log to relax the muscles so they will settle down. Have a good bedtime regime before going to bed. No alcohol or caffeine is a given if you want good sleep.

I went to the NIH web site and found some tips on good sleep for people with Fibro or others for that matter. Hope some of this helps...


Tips for Good Sleep
* Keep regular sleep habits. Try to get to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day—even on weekends and vacations.
* Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening. If consumed too close to bedtime, the caffeine in coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and some medications can keep you from sleeping or sleeping soundly. Even though it can make you feel sleepy, drinking alcohol around bedtime also can disturb sleep.
* Time your exercise. Regular daytime exercise can improve nighttime sleep. But avoid exercising within 3 hours of bedtime, which actually can be stimulating, keeping you awake.
* Avoid daytime naps. Sleeping in the afternoon can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you feel you cannot get by without a nap, set an alarm for 1 hour. When it goes off, get up and start moving.
* Reserve your bed for sleeping. Watching the late news, reading a suspense novel, or working on your laptop in bed can stimulate you, making it hard to sleep.
* Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.
* Avoid liquids and spicy meals before bed. Heartburn and latenight trips to the bathroom are not conducive to good sleep.
* Wind down before bed. Avoid working right up to bedtime. Do relaxing activities, such as listening to soft music or taking a warm bath, that get you ready to sleep. (A warm bath also may soothe aching muscles.)

Below is a report of finding that was posted on the NIH site...National Institute of Health about sleep and fibro..

"Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, USA.

OBJECTIVE: Fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome is a chronic pain condition characterized by diffuse muscle pain, increased negative mood, and sleep disturbance. Until recently, sleep disturbance in persons with FM has been modeled as the result of the disease process or its associated pain. The current study examined sleep disturbance (i.e., sleep duration and sleep quality) as a predictor of daily affect, stress reactivity, and stress recovery. DESIGN AND MEASURES: A hybrid of daily diary and ecological momentary assessment methodology was used to evaluate the psychosocial functioning of 89 women with FM. Participants recorded numeric ratings of pain, fatigue, and positive and negative affect 3 times throughout the day for 30 consecutive days. At the end of each day, participants completed daily diary records of positive and negative life events. In addition, participants reported on their sleep duration and sleep quality each morning. RESULTS: After accounting for the effects of positive events, negative events, and pain on daily affect scores, it was found that sleep duration and quality were prospectively related to affect and fatigue. Furthermore, the effects of inadequate sleep on negative affect were cumulative. In addition, an inadequate amount of sleep prevented affective recovery from days with a high number of negative events. CONCLUSIONS: These results lend support to the hypothesis that sleep is a component of allostatic load and has an upstream role in daily functioning. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved."
Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.
Richard L. Evans

(\o/)Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 439
   Posted 10/22/2009 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Have you tried drinking a cup of chamomile tea with a little milk? I do that and it puts me to sleep and keeps me asleep a while.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 10/22/2009 5:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I was told by my sleep doctor not to have naps.. if you feel tired then go for a walk... anything more than a 20 minute naps tells your body you slept for 8 hours
Diagnosed - fibromyalgia 2001
Meds amitryptilene 30mg/day
Lyrica 75mg/day

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 10/22/2009 9:29 PM (GMT -7)   
A cup of warmed milk with real sugar in it to make it taste a bit better can help too. I take Ambien. Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I don't. I read a report about people with Fibro who consistently could not sleep the night through. I think it was published in the American Journal of Medicine. They took a group of people with fibro and hooked them up to the brain moitors, etc for the night to monitor their sleep. Apparently, our problems with sleep have nothing to do with what we take or the good sleep habits. I tried those habits for years and they didn't work for me; just made me more tired.
On to the point... the article stated that the majority of the people never made it to the deep levels of sleep which is where your body heals and rests itself. For some reason (known only to our brains) (I think it's just to tick us off) we wake up from a surge of Alpha waves during the night. Alpha waves are the ones that should only be working when you are wide awake. Then you have to start over with your sleep process again. I wake up so suddenly and have half my problems settled during the middle of the night. Then go back to bed for a while as the sun is coming up. My body gets its best sleep from about 4 or 5 AM until 11AM. True, it may not be the optimal sleeping times in order to accomplish certain things, but it works for me. I take naps when I am tired, some last 20 minutes, some a couple hours, but they do not affect my sleep at night. Sometimes I get my best sleep with the 2 hour naps, sometimes with no naps, and some nights I just don't sleep no matter what I do.
Try everything, starting with the sleep advice listed in the article above. I hope it works for you. If it doesn't, play around with different hours of sleeping, etc, until you find your optimum.
I had a room built on another level where I have my computer and such. That way when I wake up, I just go down and play on the computer without disturbing hubby.

Major depression; Bipolar Disorder; Fibromyalgia; Spinal Stenosis; right arm and leg nerve compression; cataracts; glaucoma; IBS; RLS; hypothyroidism; B12 deficiency ... that's enough or I'll get more depressed.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 10/23/2009 3:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I have tried most of the things that have already been posted. I have been trying to avoid medication, because of a bad experience in the past. My dr has sugested amitryptilene, and I think I am going to try it. I never go into a deep sleep. I hope you find something that works for you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/31/2009 10:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi. I use ear plugs, a sleep mask to keep out any light, and generic benedryl. This is the same thing in over the counter sleep aids and was told by a rheum doc to try this. It seems to work for the most part. Hope this helps.
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