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Adrienne Dellwo

Insomnia & Fibromyalgia

By December 31, 2012

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Does it take you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep? Do you stay asleep for less than six hours a night? How often does that happen?

If your answer to either of the first two questions is "yes," and your answer to the last one is "more than three times a week," you probably have insomnia.

Insomnia is its own condition, but it's so pervasive in fibromyalgia that some doctors consider it a symptom rather than a comorbidity. Either way, treating it is likely to help you feel better overall.

Learn more:

I have horrible insomnia, and it's one of my hardest problems to treat. What impact does insomnia have on you? Have you found treatments that work for you? Leave your comments below!


Photo Barros & Barros/Getty Images

December 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm
(1) Linda says:

The Alpha-Stim has helped my sleep and I think it is the main contributor to my improvement. Amitriptyline and other medication made me feel like a zombie, sleeping tablet gave me horrific nightmares. I then found a sleeping tablet that worked and they stopped making it. Micro-current waves can help with all levels of sleep particularly deep sleep that those of us with Fibromyalgia are missing. It took me 2 weeks of daily use to realise it was working. It is still working for me 3 years on, I now have a refreshing night’s sleep most nights. I suggest try and find a local Alpha-Stim practitioner and ask to have a trial. It has over 100 research studies and 22 double blind studies, and has been used in by doctors in the USA for 31 years. I would like to see it available in the NHS.

January 1, 2013 at 11:11 pm
(2) Shawna says:

I saw something on Dr. Oz called binaural beats that you listen to and it makes your brain waves slow down so you can get deep sleep. The free download is here: http://www.sacredacoustics.com/ roll to the bottom to see the clip from Dr. Oz. and to get the free download.

I don’t know if it is a placebo affect or if it really works, but it has helped me to deep breathe and quiet down the thoughts that won’t shut up. You have to listen to it with headphones though- one ear has to hear one sound and the other ear a different sound. I’d say it puts me to sleep 4 out of 5 times and that is pretty good!

If you want to explore more for free, type binaural into the search on YouTube. Lots to see there.

January 4, 2013 at 9:26 am
(3) Gareth Thompson says:

Fibromyalgia is the hypothalamus being supressed through emotional or physical stress or both – Sleep now is effected as sleep is regulated within the hypothalamus – As sleep is effected so to is immune system – 60% of immunity is made through sleep & at REM – This allows the growth hormone to work – Also a problem along the energy production line at ATP & just before – The pain in fibromyalgia is caused by the muscles shortening because they are not recovering via no sleep – Sort sleep & pain stops – Sort energy production & fatigue stops – Not just as easy as that & nutrition plays a vital role as it holds 70% immunity in the body within the gut – This is why virals & flus are so common in fibromyalgia as immune system is lowered or non exsistance – I have fibromyalgia & was bed ridden with it initally for a year & on/off for the next 7 years – In treating my fibromyalgia through SHINE – A protocol demised by Dr Teitelabaum which abbreviates to be – Sleep Hormones Infections Nutrition Exercise – I’m now training for a marathon as it has been an ambition of mine from school & I sugest to anyone to read From Fatigued To Fantastic by Dr Teitelbaum & check his website endfatigue.com just to regain their life – I did & thank God I did :) – ps – Have an allergy check done – Can be a massive factor in causing & to symptoms occuring too although everything explained throughout website & book – Get your life back :)

January 4, 2013 at 9:37 am
(4) Michele says:

I had a sleep study down and found out I had 73 episodes and hour! Not all were from obstructive apnea. Some were from a 30% drop in oxygen and a lot were from what they call Central Apnea. That is when your brain forgets how to breath!!! I’ve had my machine for about 2 months now and I’m down to 38 episodes an hour.They are mostly the Central Apneas. The sleep doctor wants me to go for a different study now being that my brain keeps forgetting to breath while I sleep. Apparently people with Fibromyalgia suffer from Central Apnea. I suggest talking to your doctor about going to a sleep study. Its really not that bad. Its a lot of wires but really its something you can put up with for one night. And its for your own benefit.

January 4, 2013 at 9:39 am
(5) Jennifer Roberts says:

My doctor told me that because I have such severe fibro..(along with lupus, RSD, and a few other issues) that my sleep pattern is constantly affected. My specialist prescribed Temazapam so that I can teach my brain and body to relax. I take them for approximately 3 days in a row to get my brain back in normal sleep mode. It leaves your system in 3 hours and I awake with no hangover at all. I am not sure if this helps anyone, but this is the only thing I have found that has worked for me. Jennifer R. No. California

January 4, 2013 at 10:25 am
(6) ayoung says:

Here’s some simple things to try that have helped me off/on over the years. Take all the “can make you drowsy meds” in the evening, couple hours before bedtime.
Take tylenol arthritis that is time-released over 8 hours.
Don’ fret about not sleeping…count your blessings…breath slowly and deeply.
Tell yourself…”when I roll over I”m not going to ‘think’ about it anymore” then don’t.
I’ve been receiving treatment from a chiropractor for the first time and it’s very helpful to generally feeling better overall. There are lots of foods I don’t already eat. I added avoiding wheat and it seems to help too.
Just saying…

January 4, 2013 at 11:09 am
(7) Sherrell says:

I have several friends that are taking Plexus slim and they say the slim drink helps them sleep and reduces their pain and flare ups like 80%. My daughter is showing so many symptoms of fibromyalgia that I signed up as an ambassador to get the products for her at a discount. It is all natural and her doctor has said it is safe for her to take. She is 14. I’m crossing my fingers she has great results. If you would like an update, or to follow her progress I would be happy to share information or friend you.

January 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm
(8) Marie says:

What works for me to fall asleep is praying, if I wake up during the night I pray myself to sleep again. I also use Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Sleep Lavender Vanilla Body Lotion.

January 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm
(9) sherken92 says:

I do a handheld solitaire that is lighted so I don’t wake up my husband. I play it until I’m sleepy enough to fall asleep. This keeps my mind from wandering, and it gives me something to do instead of just lying there, trying to not think about going to sleep. I used to read, but if the book was a page turner, it made me stay awake to see what happened next. If I’m playing the game and notice I’ve dozed off a time or two, it’s time to go to sleep. I roll over, set the automatic shut off game on my bedside table and go to sleep. The other thing I’ve found, is audio books put me right to sleep! It works for me! I also take Benedryl (Diphenydramine) 25 mg, 2 tabs an hour before bed time.

Good luck. I’ve been struggling with this for years. I’m better now, about sleeping better, because I don’t have the “pressure” of knowing I must get to sleep in order to get to work the next morning, now that I can no longer work. But, I still have nights that sleep doesn’t come until right before my husband is set to get up for the day! I refuse to lie in bed and “think” so I get up and read, play computer games, watch TV, and feel myself getting sleepier.

January 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm
(10) Sharon says:

I have Fibro, sleep apnea, diabetes and unspecifed connective tissue disease. I have a hard time falling asleep at night but once I am asleep I think I could sleep forever. I think some of it is because it takes me so long to feel good once I wake up that I hate to go to sleep just to start all over with pain and stiffness.

January 5, 2013 at 1:36 am
(11) Andrea says:

I take Nortriptelyn and nerontin to sleep.

January 5, 2013 at 6:31 am
(12) Karen says:

For me.. i have no problems falling asleep.. its stay ing that wY is the problem….. i have tthe max of two hrs full deep sleep. .from there it all goes down hill. I toss and turn. All night.. i still have no clue how to cope.. my fubro. And pain levvels are really suffering now…

January 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm
(13) wendy says:

My doctor recommended a product called Cortisol Manager by Integrative Therapeutics. It’s a natural product and I buy it on-line without a prescription. I take 2 before bed and it has been a life saver where sleep is concerned. I have been using it for a couple of years and haven’t noticed any side affects. My sleep isn’t great every night, but it has improved greatly.

January 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm
(14) Audre says:

I tak 1 mg. Of Klonapin before bedtime and it really helps. I still get up at least once a night to go to the bathroom. All in all its the only thing that has helped.

January 13, 2013 at 9:27 pm
(15) J Coffey says:

Linda – I, too, own an Alpha-Stim, and I would really like to hear more specifics about the protocol you use with your Alpha-Stim to improve your sleep. Thanks! – J

January 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm
(16) Diane Kennelly says:

I have four different items that I take…
I have one prescription for Ambien/Zolpidem (10 mg) and I take 1/2 every night,
Supplements include 3 of the “Valerian Rest” tablets from “To Your Health”… it has Valerian Root and Lemon Balm, which seem to help with sleep.
Plus, I take 1 tablet of Melatonin., 10 mg and 1 5-HTP, 100 mg.
I’ve been sleeping better… but this is still not 100% ideal every night!

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