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Adrienne Dellwo

Melatonin for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By November 5, 2012

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Most of us with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome don't sleep well. Especially for those who have trouble falling asleep, it's common to try melatonin supplements.

Melatonin is part of your body's natural sleep cycle. When taken as a supplement, it can help healthy people get to sleep better. So it stands to reason that it would help us, right?

Not necessarily. See what we know:

Learn more about our sleep problems:

Have you tried melatonin? Did it work for you? Have you found something that helps you sleep? Leave your comments below!


Photo Kim Carson/Getty Images

November 8, 2012 at 10:12 am
(1) CATT says:

When I was plagued with CFS and Fibro the taking of Melatonin didn’t work. But, then I have been diagnosed as an “opposite person” by my DO. This means I am one of the 5% of the population that does the opposite of what is expected on most or all drugs. For those of us who fall into this category we must make our food our drug.

November 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm
(2) Rachael says:

I hear you CATT. I am also one of the 5% of the population that gets the opposite effect of what is expected on most, or all drugs. Any supplements, or drugs that I do take are in an attempt to suppress my hyper-reactive immune response to substances that my body deems unnatural or unnecessary.

November 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm
(3) Rachael says:

If you believe, like me, that ME/CFS is an autoimmune illness, you should be very wary of melatonin since it could aggravate your already overactive immune system worsening your symptoms.

Some Interesting reading: Why Can’t I Take Melatonin Because I Have an Autoimmune Disease?


November 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm
(4) Denise0216 says:

I suffered with horrible insomnia prior to my official diagnosis of FM. In late September, my GP doubled my antidepressant and I also started taking a natural sleep aid, Power to Sleep. Within 10 -14 days I was experiencing full nights rest feeling totally refreshed in the am. I was also taking ambien and klonapin and have now been able to decrease the klonapin until I’m off it completely. Power to sleep is a melatonin based product with chamomile and valerian. I hope it works as well for others as it has for me.

November 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm
(5) Lisa says:

I have just melatonin for years and swear by it. It works for me.

November 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm
(6) Sandra says:

I wondered why I couldn’t sleep when I tried melatonin. Kept me awake all night. FM sufferer for 20 yrs and not many drugs help because I am sensitive to them.

November 10, 2012 at 2:36 am
(7) Pauline says:

I have been taking Stilnox for sleep and it is great. I sleep well and and very alert in the morning, unlike the previous tabs I took called Trepoline.

November 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm
(8) GreenSearcher says:

I take Melatonin, L-Theanine and Valerian Root most nights before I can fall asleep, The nights that I take a break from them sleep is slow coming and not as restful. I take L-Theanine because I strongly dislike green tea, otherwise I could drink that in the evening instead. I find the Valerian Root is not only a muscle relaxer/sedative but it quiets the nerve chatter that otherwise wakes me during the night. I quite taking the sleeping pills, both Lunesta and Ambien as they just were not effective after 6 months only make be groggy the next day AND exhausted.

If you are like me, and the pain leaves you exhausted, getting enough sleep is as important and getting good sleep. If I try to go on just 7-8 hours of good sleep, by mid afternoon I either need a nap or I start spiraling down into a foggy flare. I need 10 of sleep a day or things fall apart.

November 14, 2012 at 4:02 am
(9) Roxanne says:

I’ve had fibro since at least 1975 ……it ‘s easier for some doctors to diagnose now than it was years ago….things that have helped me tend to require me to experiment …if it worked, then I continue, if not I stop and try something else. I use gentle stretching, meditation, yard work and walking exercises when the planter faciatis isn’t flaring…..some days the pain is so bad, I take a day off for rest. I’ve been taking melatonin 20mg everynight. Since 1995. For me it works….I use source naturals peppermint sublingual, ……also another thing that helps with the pain is medical marijauna….I use it only at night since it also helps me to sleep…I don’t have medical insurance and can’t afford it’ so I do ALOT of research and try to keep up with all the research. .another change that has a huge difference for me, is diet. I cook everything from scratch and use mostly organic for fruits and veggies also organic for dairy. I only use almond milk unsweetened. I stay away from all GM. If the companies won’t label their products, then I avoid the, and save the money….

November 15, 2012 at 7:46 am
(10) Bernadette says:

Melatonin didn’t work for my M.E. buy Fatigue to Fantastic sleep capsules do, I take 4 around 7pm and sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed.

November 15, 2012 at 11:58 am
(11) RachelM says:

I haven’t tried melatonin, but I do take an herb called ashwagandha that has been very helpful.

It doesn’t make me sleepy, but when I do fall asleep after taking it, I sleep much more deeply. I can tell a difference after just one dose.

My rheumatologist recommended it and said that, while it hasn’t yet been FDA approved, he has a friend at the NIH who is researching it and says their findings there thus far are very positive. They haven’t yet found any side effects, and it doesn’t seem to interact with any drugs.

Time will tell, of course, but it’s worth noting that I took ashwagandha throughout my last pregnancy with no ill effects to either me or my baby. My rheumatologist told me it is also safe to take while breastfeeding, so I have, and my baby seems not to have been affected.

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