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Fibromyalgia and Sleep
2 Replies
mamba - January 15

My symptoms all began gradually and built over the course of almost a year. Last April I began seeing a rheumatologist, and after what seemed like a million blood tests and much poking and prodding, he diagnosed me with FM. At this point I was in pain all the time, all day, every day. I was exhausted, physically and mentally... so badly, that I was literally slurring my words and forgetting things at work. I would come home at 4:00, sleep until 7:00, wake up to have supper, then go back to bed. It was frustrating to sleep all the time. I'm only 25, and on top of the whole "...but you don't look sick" phenomenon, there was also the "you're not fun anymore, you're going to bed so early! how can you be too tired to go out?"
Anyway, the rheumatologist prescribed me Desipramine for sleep. I am not a fan of conventional medicine and drugs, so I resisted taking this when it was prescribed to me in June, but finally gave in and filled the prescription in the Fall. I experimented and found that with 20 mg. of Desipramine I feel human again! It was great! Sleeping was never an issue, it was just that I seemed to want to do it ALL THE TIME. The Desipramine almost gave me extra energy! It was fantastic... a bit bizarre, obviously, since I wasn't used to it, but sometimes I could go to bed at 11 and wake up at 6:00 and feel refreshed and energized after only those 7 hours of sleep!
...which brings me to my current problem. Something's happened and now I CAN'T sleep. I fall asleep and probably sleep for 3 solid hours.. at which point I wake up and am unable to sleep solidly for the rest of the night. I watch the clock... I know I drift off because I dream constantly, but I know I'm looking at the clock almost every half hour or so. And I agnozie over it, clearly, because I see the time running out and I know I have to wake up soon, and I'm not sleeping. It's not that I'm not tired, it's that I can't sleep.

I suffered from insomnia years ago and it's pure agony. Now that it's back, I'm absolutely terrified. I remember what this is like... and I hate it. I remember walking around in a total haze, feeling completely out of it. It's just as bad as feeling tired all the time! As you can imagine, I'm also in constant pain again. I'm taking my supplements and I keep taking the Desipramine, although some nights I skip it, thinking perhaps it's because of the drug that I'm not sleeping (?) but I'm not really noticing a difference either way.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced this much variability in sleep disturbance. Is it because of the Fibro? Could it be something else? I'm not any more stressed than usual. I'm not beating myself up over it... I would just love to sleep. I'm jealous of every person I see at work who looks refreshed. And when I hear people talk about how good they slept I want to slap them.

Anyway, I guess I'm just looking mainly for some moral support. This is killing me. I'm beginning to feel like a zombie. And the worst part is that I'm NOT tired all the time. I was practically drooling this afternoon at work, and needing sleep so badly, (and secretly loving every minute of it, because I thought maybe I'd be able to sleep when I got home!) ...but now I'm wide awake.
Does anyone else have terrible sleep problems? How do you deal with it?

Thanks for your time. I appreciate any input! :)


lmb2 - January 16

I have major sleeping problems with my fibro also, i am also 25... I have tried a lot of different things for it and I find that a certain drug might help me for a few weeks or so and then it's like my body adjusts to the medication and it starts having an opposite effect on me and i end up not able to sleep again. I'd have to agree with you and say it might be the medicine. It might not make any difference to be off of it for just one night because you might still have some in your system. Try staying off of the desipramine for a few days or even a week or so and see if there is a difference that way. one question, Do any other meds tend to give you energy when they will make someone else pass out, by chance? like pain killers and things?? you just might be one of those unlucky people, like me, who have to choose between sleeping and killing the pain, cuz if i take the pain killers, i'm not sleeping lol.
There are only 2 things that i have found that seem to keep helping me sleep without getting the opposite effect from them, they are benadryl and muscle relaxers, so i go back and forth between the 2.
Hope this helps even a tiny bit.... And good luck, i do know how it feels to not sleep well and it's awful!


cas56 - January 17

I have dealt with Fm for 5 years. For about the last year I've been taking 1-3 milligrams of melatonin at bedtime. It usually helps me sleep thru-out the night. If I am having an muscle pain too, I will take MyoCalm PM as well. It is a combo of calcium/magnesium,valerian root,passionflower. It is a more natural form of muscle relaxant. I get it thru my chiropractor. Home Shopping Network sells Andrew Lessman's Nighttime supplement that has all the above ingredients. I can relate to the torture and frustration you are going thru. I hope this might help! I'll pray for healing for you too.



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