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Question about sleep schedules
15 Replies
Clay2Fame - February 11

Hello all,

I hope I get a response to this question. I was diagnosed with fibro over 3 years ago. I was always a night owl from the time I was a kid but since the onset of the fibro my sleep schedule is nuts. My pain and soreness intensifies at night which is part of what keeps me awake throughout the entire night now. I can usually go to sleep around 4-6am if I'm lucky and get up aroun 2-3pm. Even though I do eventually get some sleep I always feel exhausted, which I do know is all part of the fibro. What I'm wondering about my fellow sufferers out there is do any of you deal with such extreme sleep patterns like this?

I just went to see a doctor who told me I just need to "train" my body and "train" my mind into better sleep patterns. Yeah, sure. This doctor is new to me, someone who I thought might be able to help with the anxiety and depression aspects of all this, but he did not seem to understand AT ALL what I was trying to explain in regards to the fibro. When I tried to say that pain keeps me up and who could comfortably sleep when that's their worst pain time he actually started to argue with me. Needless to say, I will not be seeing him again. Thankfully at this point I've already found a good rheumatologist and have been with my regular family doctor for many years.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, etc. regarding how your sleep patterns have been affected by the fibro.

Blessings to all.


jakecole - February 12

It takes me several hours to get to sleep and it's usually around 3 or 4 AM because of the pain in my one leg. I don't want to take sleeping pills, but even they don't always work.


axxie - February 12

Hello Clay2Fame, first of all you are not alone with the sleep patern you are describing. Actually I fit that bill quite well. You are not dreaming the problem, actually it's a sign that you have a low levels of somatomedin C, a growth hormone that is stimulated in sleep. We FMS family have a problem with the microstucture of sleep. Our sleep stages are somewhat fragmented, so our nighttime biological circadian rhythms may be out of sync and this contributes to our daytime symptoms. Think back when you first notice your sleeping pattern being off, that was the start of fibro. I notice that I had great difficulty sleeping at night when everyone sleep I could not, and then around 4, 5 or 6a.m. I would doze off to sleep and only wake mid afternoon. It's actually a cycle that can be worked on, but takes a long time to achieve. So much so, that I cannot train my body to fall asleep even if I was put in a pressurized room and tried to synchronize my sleeping pattenrs. That doctor who said you had to train yourself, does not know anything about fibro and if I was you I would run as fast away from that doctor. My doctor prescribe Cymbalta and Trazadone, Cymbalta is for the management of FMS and the pain and Trazadone I take at night to sleep. It works fine for me, actually they are two antidepressant, but it works on me, just fine. Are you on medication to help you with FMS and do you have trigger points.

Good luck to you and if you are not on any treatment, now would be time to consider treatment of some kind to help you.
Good luck


Clay2Fame - February 16

Thank you for the responses. And, without question, I do not plan on going back to that doctor who said I could just train myself to sleep differently. I am on a medication already for sleep and the anxiety too but regardless I just never feel rested (whether I sleep 10 hours or 2 hours or whatever). There are so many complicated layers to fibro and having a doctor that understands is important. It's nice to know others understand too, and clearly people here on this board do.


VictoriaB - February 16

Hi and in response to your question of sleep............I mever know when I lie down for the night what is going to happen, I always wake up once or twice with pain somewere but go right back to sleep. Sometimes I sleep right through and sometimes I wake every hour on the hour. I am on Cymbalta and use pain patch. Prn lorcet- that actually makes me sleep better than anything!! When I get almost completely out of pain with the patch, then I wake up wanting to get up and do something because I actually feel relieved of pain! CRAZY!! V


axxie - February 16

Victoria B, what is the name of the pain patch you are on, I want to see my doctor and see if she will prescribe these for me also. I'm currently on Cimbalta 60mg and Trazadone 50mg. I take both in the evening sometimes I'm just exausted from the pain, because I did something out of the ordinary like paint a wall? or just ake out the garbage out.


pat - February 20


I was diagnosed with fibro and osteoarthritis about a year ago. The frustration for me includes sleep disturbances. I wake up at least two or three times a night and then the pain starts. Even Darvocet (which I only take when I am totally miserable) doesn't render my body pain free to sleep the night through.

I don't know which of the conditions is raring up - the fibro or the osteo. I will see the doctor in the spring (the primary doc) and I DO intend to address this. Surely there are some meds that I can take to help me sleep.

The rheumatologist said to take a warm shower first thing in the morning.

I think I may have to be in hot water all day and all night. (smile)

Yawning in Texas.



FibroGal - February 21

I, too, was a night owl from the time I was a teen. I've always preferred to go to bed late and sleep late. But, that was because I wanted to. Now that I have fibro, I find that even if I go to bed at midnight, I can't go to sleep til sometimes 3 a.m. Then, after I get my son off to school, I go back to bed for another 3 to 5 hours. So, depending on what I've done the day before, I find I'm needing anywhere between 9 and 13 hours of sleep. I find that on those rare occasions when I am able to get to sleep around midnight and get up around 8 and stay up, I have to get an afternoon nap in for 2-3 hours.

Does anyone else feel they need more sleep now than they used to before fibro? Fibro causes pain, but sometimes I think it's the fatigue that bothers me most.


axxie - February 21

I was never a good sleeper even in my younger days, so I'm not sure what that means. For awhile I was able to go sleep when my hubby would go to bed and would try to sleep the same patern. Somehow I would find myself up and doing housework or watch tv or writing reports, but that was before I had fibro. Now that I have fibro I sleep more. Trazadone is not habit forming so I take to make me sleep, but when you wake up it's not that kind of sleep where you wake up refresh. I usually sleep in the morning and late afternoon, then go to bed around 2a.m. sometimes later and if I can't go to sleep I take my Trazadone. It doesn't seem to be habit forming because I did find myself sleeping from sheer exhaustion without taking the pill and I don't have a desire to take it, then I don't. Sometimes I don't sleep for days because I can't sleep and then I just sleep for a few days to catch up if I take my medication and then I'm back at my schedule of naps morning, mid afternoon and going to bed at 2a.m. Don't ask me if I'm rested cause I sure don't seem to be.


depulliam - February 21

Hi, Your sleep schedule sounds a lot like mine had been for the past few months. I was always a night owl but then it got really bad where it would be 6 am before I could go to sleep. I am lucky to have a good sleep doc, so keep looking. He knows its a combo of fibro, depression and circadian rhythm problems. Not to mention I have Restless Leg Syndrome which is common in people with Fibromyalgia. He has started with just a simple sleep diary. Keeping track of when I try to go to sleep, how long it takes me to fall asleep and if I have broken sleep. He says we'll work on moving things back after he looks at the data. I'm sure you can find a sleep diary online to help you show a doc your patterns. You are not alone all those sleepless nights. I'm right there with you. I hope you can find the help you need.


axxie - February 24

I've been at a sleep clinic prior to be diagnosed with FMS and I was able to go to sleep with my hubby and try to sleep the same time, but would end up getting up in the middle of the night or not be able to go to sleep until 2a.m.

After FMS was diagnose, the patern is all over the map. I am tired all the time and need more sleep hours then wake hours.

I wish there was a cure, I'd love to be able to sleep and wake up refresh, but have not been able to do that for a long time now.


JOEGIRL - February 24

Hi,, I have the same problem with sleeping. I have always been a night owl and I have to have my sleep in the morning hours. If I don't get enough I 'm just like an ''old dishrag'' hanging around. C an't do anything but drag all day long. I hate days like that but it happens sometimes.


momerath42 - March 1

My sleep schedules are crazy but not for the same reasons. If I don't "have" to be up, I can sleep for as much as 16 hours straight (which I do almost every Saturday and Sunday). I can go to bed at 10pm Friday night and sleep until 4pm Saturday! I *almost* never have trouble falling asleep: as soon as I get still I'm out (even sitting up, with my eyes open!). I have always wanted to do a sleep study...


myself - March 2

Even if i think i won't have pain, I will at least take prescription strength ibuprofen just in case some pain arrives to take the edge off while sleeping.

I have trouble with getting to sleep, sometimes i am just wide awake but exhausted, or i think too much and it keeps my mind wandering.

I go to bed and stay awake on average 2 or so hours, then i sleep about 10 total hours. For some reason, that is the magic number for my body to be semi happy.


tnichel - March 4

I've always been a night owl but now it's out of control. I was going to bed at 2:30-3 am and got up between 11:30 and noon. I switched from lyrica to cymbalta and take amitryptelene to sleept. Now I go to bed between 4-5am and get up between 2-3pm which is just ridiculous. I went from needing 8-9 hours to need 10-11 hours. An suggestions would be great b/c that so called "training" doesn't help.


justachick - March 21

I am so glad to read these responses. They could be from me. I thought that it was just bad habit I had developed. I know that people with FM have trouble sleeping and never sleep sound but to have my sleep patterns and cycles described help me see that I'm not just lazy which is how I felt. Thank you to everyone for sharing your stories.



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