SLEEP is the key, what do you all do for sleep?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Chelz, May 14, 2009.

  1. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    Having FM, I have NEVER been a good sleeper as I suppose most of us are not. Years ago, prior to be diagnosed with FM, I complained so much about my sleep to my doctor (along with pain, fatigue, mild depression and so on).

    I was given Elavil. Long story short, I had to stop this drug because of numerous, unacceptable side effects, let alone the fact that this medication only gave me a "drug induced" sleep, and it was not natural.

    After I was diagnosed, I was given Zanaflex to help with muscle pain and sleep, had to stop that one as well. I am one of those FM sufferers that does not do well with meds of almost any kind.

    I will average about only 4 hours of sleep at night, and I do not think that sleep is restful at all.
    For the past few nights, my sleep has been much worse than usual. I had to leave work early because of such severe pain, fatigue, irritableness, it has been HORRIBLE.

    I did manage to get better sleep last night, without waking up, and today my pain is still there, but much reduced. I just can't believe the burning, stabbing pain that I usually always live with, but is SO MUCH worse when my sleep is off.

    I know this is nothing new, it's a part of FM, the trouble is, I can't take medications for it. I have tried some herbal teas that will help mildly for a short period of time, but then I just go back to my old sleeping ways. What medications do you all take, or herbal teas, or anything else that would simulate a more natural sleep, rather than one that has side effects from medications. Hugs, Chelz.
  2. lynncats

    lynncats New Member

    not sure of your believes, but read her post.

    Hope I can do this without bothering anyone.

    JEANSKI New Member

    I've tried alot of different things over the years. I started out not being able to GET to sleep but staying asleep was usually not an issue. it has reversed recently, so I am starting a new adventure finding something to help me STAY asleep and not be hungover.

    I can't function at work either if I don't sleep. I've had to leave many times recently because of this new sleep pattern i've developed. Hopefully I can find something to work well. Now I am trying trazadone. Joy. Gonna see if this can help me STAY asleep without hangeover. My sister takes it with good effect. Usually if it is tolerated by a family member they say it's likely you will tolerate too. We shall see. Here is my list:

    Remeron (mirtazipine) sol-tabs: It's an anti-d but helped me sleep for a long time. It was some of the most restorative sleep i have ever had. No hangover in the morning. Who knows why it worked for me but it did.

    Delta/Alpha waves sleep cd's: Didn't work. In fact I found it VERY distracting to listen too.

    Sleepytime tea/or Chamomile: Good ol' sleepytime tea!! It does help relax me and can bring on drowsiness but not effective for me as a long term solution. Not a "sure" thing. I can't afford to lose even one nights sleep, it has such a bad effect on me.

    Calms Forte: Didn't work at all for me. It's a homeopathic thing. I gave it a month and nothing.

    Melatonin: Same as the calms forte.

    Magnesium: It helps my muscles relax overall which is important to me for sleep. But also you get the daytime benefits as well! I love the stuff!

    Sounds machine: This was actually not bad. It plays waves or nature sounds. I found it helped me when I was especially stressed and had racing thoughts. But as a long term thing, not as effective.

    I use essential oils such as lavender and chamomile as a linen spray for my sheets. I have a sleep mask for those nights that the moon is full. I have those nose strips that help me when breathing is an issue due to allergies or what have you. Soft ear plugs if I am hearing too much noise. Sometimes I can hear the electrical buzzing. If I am especially achy I use a heating pad which takes off the edge and helps me relax into slumber.

    I find sleep to be the most important component for me. It has been a challenge.

  4. spacee

    spacee Member

    So desperate I nailed towels over the window over my bed. Boy, did that help! I have to get some of those room darkening drapes but towels will do for now. (I use a fan and ear plugs for noise)

    I have low serotonin which a lot of antidepressants raise. I just read today that our serotonin affects our sleep/wake cycle.

    I take SAMe for that 1600mg a day (one 4 times a day without food). It isn't cheap. But it is an Essential Amino Acid (EAA) and if our bodies don't have enough of it (and our bodies cannot make EAAs), our bodies will start making something toxic. Just read that today.

    Prohealth sells it. One place GNC and Nature Made are the best but I have tried all and can't tell the difference.

    My brother, a doc, told me to try this.

  5. Jordane

    Jordane New Member

    I have tried different meds to help me sleep, but...I don't like *the morning after* affect they most all give me.

    I don't sleep very much at night....wake up a LOT.....get a lot of panic attacks at night.... to rest at all I need a fan on help me breathe...then the pain keeps you awake too...

    I have just accepted the fact that I won't be getting a nights rest! :>(

    Take Care!!
  6. WetCoast

    WetCoast New Member

    I've heard that it's more likely for a combination of low-dose sleep meds to work than for 1 large dose med to work. How did you arrive on your winning combination?

    My experience with either Zopiclone, Trazodone, Clonazapam, or melatonin taken alone is that at low dose, I can't fall asleep, and at larger doseages I'm drugged all next day. So I'm ready to try a low dose combination for my insomnia {I've got leftovers of all the above meds}, but I don't know how to decide what combination to use. Did your Doctor advise you? How long long would you try a combination before adjusting it?

    Sleepily yours.....
  7. donna13210

    donna13210 Member

    I know that you say you can't take meds for sleep, but sometimes you just have to find the right one that doesn't give you side effects. My rheumatologist recently switched me to Imipramine (brand name Tofranil). I don't know if you suffer from depression, but it is really helping me sleep better, and waking up less. It has been written that "Imipramine is often considered the "Gold Standard" antidepressant, as its ability to lift the most severe depressive episodes is unsurpassed". (No, I don't sell this product! LOL!). Like all meds, I always start with a real small dose, and increase it gradually, week by week. He also added prescription Naproxen for pain, which I take twice daily. This has helped with my pain all day and night. I saw improvement in the quality of my life within the first week, and we also added Cymbalta.

    I know different things work for different people, but this combination is really helping me. I don't really want to take an Nsaid (Naproxen), but most of the other Rx pain meds either make me nauseous, spaced out, or sleepy. People can't be expected to function that way!

    I hope you at least try the Imipramine. I was very surprised how well it worked for sleep, and I have no side effects at all. No "drug hangover" in the morning, either.

    Good luck. I hope you find restful sleep soon!

    Donna M
  8. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    I've never taken sleep meds.
    I have always been one to wake up happy, wide awake, good mood. I love that I'm rarelyeven tired in the morning with little sleep. It's not til later that it hits me. With the little sleep most of us get with FM, I watch the clock, if its 4:30, I get up, turn lights on, get coffee going. What's terrible is when that 4:30 turns ito 2am, and I only fell asleep at midnight. When you have to work the next day, that's a recipe for disaster.

    About 8 months ago a rheumy prescribed Klonapin for me. Not for sleep but for FM itself. Not really sure why. Anyway, going through some rough personal issues, I found 1/2 helped calm me a bit. Can't take the recommended whole pill or I'd be out cold. For some reason I can take during the day, not be really tired- but when I take at night, it really does help me sleep and stay asleep.

    Something else I've noticed just the last week - I often sleep on the couch. this week I opened the window and of course cuddled up with my fav blanket. I slept like a baby. Something about the fresh air I swear. Only took the 1/2 Klonapin twice the whole week.

    BTW- I take Soma as well for awful muscle pain. Can take during the day - doesn't affect me at all. Crazy.
  9. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    First, several years ago I had high cortisol levels at night, which caused severe middle-of-the-night insomnia. I had to take Seriphos (phosphorylated serine) which helped normalize my cortisol levels and helped with sleep. I don't take it any more, but if I hadn't dealt with the high cortisol, it'd still be a problem. My doctor had me do an Adrenal Stress Index Test, a saliva test, with samples taken 4 times during the day/night for a picture of my cortisol levels.

    Then, I also found 5-htp to be very helpful. It's an amino acid which helps the brain produce serotonin without the side effects of prescription anti-depressants, which I can't tolerate. I take 100 mg. 5-htp about an hour before bed.

    I also take 2 mg. melatonin an hour before bed.

    Also take the following: 200 mg. l-theanine (an amino acid) which helps the brain produce GABA, it's like a natural tranquilizer and is very relaxing.

    Magensium and calcium, and also a valerian root combo.

    So, it's a lot of stuff but it works for me without drugging me.

    Also, I still have middle of the night insomnia sometimes, and when I do, I take 0.5 mg. lorazepam and a benadryl and 100 mg. l-theanine, and go back to sleep.

    One more thing - I recently read that vitamin B6 is very important for serotonin synthesis or utilization, so have added that to the mix too.

    Also, no caffeine after 12:00 noon. (I miss my late afternoon tea, but it kept me awake in the middle of the night)


    JEANSKI New Member

    Please please please don't make your own "cocktail"
    out of your leftover pills! That is so dangerous!! Please see a dr. about it. Yes, you can use multiple meds to get good sleep but only a dr will know what dosages and what combo. Please be careful! we don't want you to "sleep" forever!
  11. Gingareeree

    Gingareeree New Member

    I have been taking "Fibro Sleep"by Prohealth(you can check it out on their products board)for about two years .Along with that,I also take 1,10mg of Flexeril. My restorative sleep has improved greatly. Altho, there are a few times a month when regardless what I take,I don't sleep well. I think it has something to do with the full moon,and disrupting my bio-rythems. Good Luck~~~Jeanne~~
  12. Cinderbug

    Cinderbug New Member

    I had a terrible time sleeping until last summer.

    I started taking 1/2 mg. of Xanax and was prescribed C-PAP for sleep apnea that I didn't even know I had. I also threw out my 15 year old mattress and bought a new one.

    Works great for me!

    Good Luck,

  13. cfsgeorge

    cfsgeorge New Member

    I've used everything you guys and girls have used to get me +8hours of sleep, but i'm not getting any better. I still have the awful "unrefreshing" sleep that started with my CFS. There is still something wrong with the quality of sleep we all need. If you can get the proper high quality sleep, i believe it will "cure" you of FM and possibly CFS.
  14. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Rules for Sleep:

    -First take care of the pain. This has helped me more than anything else. Broaden your definition of pain, not just stabbing, throbbing, shooting, or even chronic, but whatever is making you uncomfortable. Clear this with your doctor, first. I'm very careful about my use of Vicodin, but when it comes to going to sleep, even if my urethra or something else not generally classified as fibromylagia-type pain is hurting and I'm trying to go to sleep, I'll take the pill!

    -Use ear plugs. The most comfortable ones I've found are Bio-ears. These plugs are of the silicone type, but smaller and softer than the other ones.

    -Protect yourself from any light. I find sleep masks to be irritating. Covering windows and/or pulling a cotton scarf over my head and eyes has helped.

    -Go to bed very night at the same time. Try to get up at the same time every day.

    -Make sure you are warm enough. When it is cold, I wear those ultra-soft, fuzzy socks.

    -Then I have to use my meds: Lyrica, Lunesta and Mitazapine (as a sedative). Most of us are far too stimulated at night to relax. I take the Mirtazapine about 30 mintues before I go to bed, and take my p.m. Lyrica and my Lunesta when I retire.

    -When all else fails, I get up, prepare chamomile tea (three bags), read a bit, drink the tea and try it again.

    -Pearl S.

    [This Message was Edited on 05/22/2009]