Sleep: Has anyone found a way to get deep/REM sleep?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by shanwill, May 22, 2008.

  1. shanwill

    shanwill Member

    Was wondering if there is something out there that I haven't tried yet that will actually get me into a good sleeping pattern AND solid deep sleep. My sleep feels so light, no matter how much I get.

    Has anyone had success on sussing this out? What do you take?

    Thanks for any help, wishing all well.
  2. msteph82

    msteph82 New Member


    I take a muscle relaxer and on really bad days, I take Zolpidem (Ambien) AND Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) at the same time, which leaves me feeling a little stoned, which I don't like, but I sleep like a baby and wake up feeling wonderful. Make sure whatever muscle relaxer you get is a skeletal muscle relaxant, not just your run of the mill type. I'm also on Alprazolam (Xanax), which is perfect for those days when you're just about to jump out of your skin.

  3. kbak

    kbak Member

    I hear you. I've never found anything that consistanly works for a good sleep. It's extremely frustrating!!

  4. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    Xyrem (and anesthesia) are the only things that have given me slow wave sleep.

    Deep sleep is what I have lacked for several years. Two sleep studies confirmed this. I don't have problems getting REM. I dream all the time when I'm not taking Xyrem.
    [This Message was Edited on 05/22/2008]
  5. monicaz49

    monicaz49 New Member

    GREAT question.
    I always felt like i wasnt getting deep sleep. I would dream but it always felt like on a surface level. And whenever a noise wakes me up it like my body just quickly awakens...there is no gradual slow waking up from a deep sleep like you see in the movies. lol
    A overnight sleep study test confirmed this. NO STAGE 3, NO STAGE 4. Im seriously exhausted from the moment I awake.

    Xanax does not help me get deep sleep.

    I'll be curious to read what others suggest
  6. erica741

    erica741 New Member

    Have you tried klonopin? That med (and other benzos) are the only things that help me sleep.

    Many people report success with melatonin. It doesn't work for me, but enough people report success that I think it's worth trying.

    A lot of people here on the board rave about ProHealth's FibroSleep. [Warning: Ask your doctor about FibroSleep if you are on an SSRI or other antidepressent because it has 5-htp (and I think the GABA) that can be dangerious to mix with antidepressents.]

    I know not sleeping well can be one of life's biggest frustrations, so wish you the best in finding something that works for you.

  7. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Ahhhhhhhhhh, sleeeeeeep. That illusive necessary state of mind. The more I research, the more I think poor sleep is 75% (or more) the cause of CFS. "If you can't sleep, you can't heal." Said my CFS doc 14 years ago. He put me on Trazadone which is a cheap drug and might be worth considering for you. It also helps with anxiety and is far less habit-forming than many others. It constipated me and now it knocks me to the ground. As soon as I don't have something that must be done the next day, I'm trying it again.

    Like many, I get to sleep OK but wake up OO anywhere from two to four hours later. This began with a challenging job that kept me too busy to problem-solve during the day so I'd do it at around 2 a.m. Worked great for my boss but not for me.

    At two or whenever I wake up, I take one 15 mg. Restoril or I would not sleep the rest of the night. I'm not advocating Restoril because now my body is dependent on it but I tried everything else to no avail. I mean nothing. Zero, zilch, nada.

    If I were you I'd try melatonin first or ProHealth's FibroSleep. That's good advice about checking with your doctor first with any supplement.

    Like Trazadone, Klonopin was constipating for me but if I had it to do over again, I'd raise my daily supplement of magnesium and stick with one or the other of those. Trazadone is not as habit-forming as Klonopin and both are less habit-forming than Restoril.

    The very best of luck to you, from one sleep-deprived human bean to another,
    Marta Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  8. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Human growth hormone.

    If you're not getting deep sleep, you're likely low in it.

    It's a bit hard to get a doctor to prescribe it and hard to get insurance coverage though. And expensive ($10/day minimum) if you have to pay on your own.

    It's been super helpful for me though.

    Klonopin helps with sleep too, though in a somewhat different sort of way.
  9. shanwill

    shanwill Member

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the tips! Sounds like alot use Klonopin, haven't tried it yet. I also did the sleep study route and found I don't get stage 3/4 sleep. Really feel that if this was resolved I would improve drastically!

    For others who are checking this thread, Melatonin is good, it worked for me for years, I think my body now is just too use to it.

    Is there a way to test for Human Growth Horomone levels?
    What tests should I ask my doctor for? (I'm in Canada)

  10. pearls

    pearls New Member

    I'm on Lyrica and am now experiencing the best sleep I've had in years. I actually go to bed expecting to sleep. If I wake during the night, I expect to go back to sleep. This is a major change in my life.

  11. mindyandy420

    mindyandy420 New Member

    I have actually been sleeping o.k. I'm having extreme fatigue the past couple days but I've been able to sleep thru the night....KNOCKING ON WOOD!!!
  12. pam112361

    pam112361 New Member

    Hi Shannon!

    I take a Neurontin prior to going to bed, but I also use a CPAP Machine for sleep apnea. It has made a difference in my daytime sleepiness.

  13. cynny3

    cynny3 New Member

    Hi Shannon,
    My doctor recently gave me Lunesta and I woke up for the first time in years feeling refreshed. It's been so long, I didn't even remember what a refreshing night's sleep was like. On other meds, I never felt good in the morning, just drowsy. On Lunesta, I seem to dream a lot but wake up not drowsy and much more ready to face the day. It's still not perfect. Perfect would be to be able to sleep, dream and wake up refreshed on my own. But so far, it's been the closest I've come to how it once felt years ago.

    Good luck and hope you get some deep sleep soon.

  14. mom3333

    mom3333 New Member

    When I was first diagnosed with FM at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, they prescribed Trazodone (in lower doses its used for sleep - up to 100mg, in higher doses it is used for depression - 150mg or more). 'They' said that I was lacking REM sleep since I would wake up feeling like I barely slept even with 8 hours plus which of course this was contributing to the fatigue and pain and this medication was one of the "best" at helping someone acheive REM sleep. The doctor at Mayo explained that some other sleep meds help you fall asleep or stay sleep but do not help you reach that deep sleep. The trazodone worked great, but one morning I discovered I got up in the middle of the night and did a few things and had no recollection - its a side effect some may experience! That was the last time I took it; I could just imagine one night waking up in my car not at home and without my daughter, that thought terrified me (some get up and drive somewhere and have no recollection, as well as eat, but I'm more worried about the driving while not aware)! Sorry, I don't want to scare you, this does not happen to everyone, it was just what happened to me and I was at 100mg when this happened, its worth a try. They start you off at a lower dose, then slowly increase to find a dose right for you. I first started on 25mg and that gave me such a sound sleep (first plan was to get me to 50mg and hoping that would be suitable).

    Anyways, I started just taking OTC sleeping meds, specifically Simply Sleep because it did not contain acetaminophen since my pain meds already had acetaminophen and I did not want to over do it. I managed with just that for a while, not the best though, still would not fall asleep for hours and then it just stopped working. Then I was prescribed Ambien CR and I felt horrible and sick the next day (it takes so much longer to get out of your system), also did not re-act well to Soma or Flexeril (even though flexeril did not cause any problems with me a couple years back, but things changed) though these work great for others.

    Finally ended on just plain Ambien, at first I refused this since the extended release was horrible for me, but it was explained to me the two were very different and I am happy I gave it a try. Although, this also has the 'getting up in the middle of the night with no recollection possibility' but have not had that happen. So far, the Ambien is working out great, I look forward to going to sleep and I wake up feeling refreshed and actually feeling like I slept :)

    - I also would take Melatonin with OTC meds, and sometimes/rarely with Ambien if I feel I may need the extra sedative
    ***I apologize that this is so long, I'm hoping this might be a little help, but you also may have already tried all of these since you battle to get much needed and wanted sleep like so many of us do
    [This Message was Edited on 05/22/2008]

    ****I came back to make sure I included one of the meds I tried and I did, but in doing so I realized by the length and detail in this message it is obvious this was on a good day (had not had one in a while) . . . does not happen too often [This Message was Edited on 05/23/2008]
  15. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    is the only drug that helps me get to the deep stages of sleep.

    Trazodone worked for a while but left me very groggy in the morning.

    Good luck in finding something that works for you.

    Love Bunchy x
  16. roge

    roge Member


    first off rem is not deep sleep. stage 3 and 4 (slow wave sleep ) is deep.

    studies have shown trazadone , neurotonin, xyrem increase slow wave sleep, if you want to go the prescription route. I would imagine Lyrica does as well due to its similar structure as neuotonin but I have not found any difinitive studies that Lyrica in fact increases slow wave sleep.

    As for HGH, it has been a 2 year process for me to try and get an Endocrinolgist to prescribe this and insurance to cover. I am in Ottawa , Canada. I have IGF-1 levels of a man twice my age (I am 37).

    First step is to get IGF-1 hormone tested (dont need an Endo to do this, any dr. can). If it is low (below 2 std deviations) than next step would be to try and locate a fairly open minded Endo (there are not many out there) who would then order a stim test for you as only way to get covered by insurance would be to fail the stim test (even though most of ME/CFS and FM patients will pass as I did) but this doesnt mean we are not low in HGH because studies show we have "functional HGH deficiency" meaning the HGH is in our pituitory gland, just we cant release it from exercise or sleep as we dont get deep sleep. The stim test is totally unrealistic as it places the body in severe stress (drops glucose), something that we dont regularly do in our normal daily lves. So basically the stim test is measuring if you even have any reserve at all in your Pit gland.

    anyway, search on usernames "winsomme", "munch1958" and "slayadragon" as they all have posted a lot about HGH and I have posted a bit too (you can read my brutal experience with the stim test I had in late Jan/08.

  17. tfrisbee

    tfrisbee New Member


    I have a cpap machine that I have to wear everynight because of sleep apnea...have you been tested for that?
  18. GeeFibroGirl

    GeeFibroGirl New Member

    I was hoping to read a solution to one of the biggest problems I have. I have tried everything that has been mentioned here. I am currently taking 30mg of Flexeril,
    Lyrica, cymbaltal & a tramadol for sleep. I still wake up several times during the night, but I have had more energy during the day even though I don't feel refreshed. (if that makes sense) I have only been on the Lyrica for 10 days now. I really beleive it has helped with my pain. I have been in a horrible flair for the past 6 months. Prior to that I was feeling almost human for about 6 months. A big stressor in my life set me back and caused this flair.

    I have so many other health problems that I sometimes think they don't mix well with all my drugs. I take 15 different scripts a day and 2 to 3 each of some of them. I am also diabetic, hypertension, PTSD, osteoarthritis, and then all the stuff that goes with fibro.

    I am new here so thanks for listening and I have already enjoyed the board here!!

  19. shanwill

    shanwill Member

    Thanks for the feedback, sounds like a lot of us are in a similar situation.
    Roge: Thanks for the expertise fellow Canadian. Good luck on your path to wellness. Have you ever seen Dr Byron Hyde in Ottawa?

    ps - Been tested for sleep apnea and don't have.

  20. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    the Klonopin is the best I have tried. I have used Flexeril, Ambien, Tylenol PM and other stuff. Klonopin gives me the best sustained sleep. I have no trouble going to sleep, I can actually fall asleep sitting up, but staying asleep, that is another matter entirely. I would be awake every hour. With Klonopin, I sleep all night.

    Some people say Klonopin gives them a hangover. I haven't found this to be so for me. My dose is 1 mg at bedtime.

    Benzodiazepines can be addictive but I have never had to go up on my dose and I have been on it a long time, it still works as well for me now as the first day I started it.

    I also practice good sleep room, no caffeine after 3pm, don't eat after dinner, warm shower, I have a feather bed mattress.....wish I could afford the Cuddle Ewe but can't right now. I don't watch the news or bad TV before bed either....too disturbing.

    Good thoughts,
    [This Message was Edited on 05/29/2008]