I recently went for a sleep study where I stayed overnight and was monitored throughout. I have insomnia. Ha! I knew that already. It is definitely a major problem for me and I take a sleeping pill every night. The sleep specialist also said I have a form of sleep apnea (not obstructive) but in which I stop breathing for a few seconds during REM sleep. This is not really treatable however, and he didn't recommend any treatment. I did learn that it took me an hour to fall asleep, that I slept for a total of 4 hrs. and that I woke up 12 times. This is called "fragmented sleep" which is common for those of us with fibro. This leads to intense fatigue the next day. We can "retrain" ourselves to sleep normally but he said it can be difficult to achieve especially when pain is involved. If anyone wants to try the CBT method, you would have to stay up until 2.00 am and get up at 7.00 am. and then over a period of time you can start to go earlier and so on. I can't stay up past 10.00 pm usually because although I am not sleepy, I feel exhausted and my pain is at it's worst. Melatonin must be taken at least 3 hours before bedtime as it allows your brain to prepare you for sleep. Then you need to be in complete darkness in order for your own melatonin to peak. So if this method has not worked for you in the past, maybe you have been taking it incorrectly. I would prefer not to take the sleeping pill and try this but that means withdrawing from the drug. I don't take anything for pain so the bit of sleep that I do get is about the only relief I have. The specialist suggested I continue with what I am taking. I am obsessed with my sleeping issues. Many fibro sufferers "catastrophize" pain and sleeping problems and that is why CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) can be helpful overall, not just with sleeping but with managing pain, mood swings and anxiety.
Hi, that is very interesting. I'm not sure what 'catastrophize' means. My doctor told me I must take something for pain. He says it has to be treated as it was not treating it that caused what he calls 'central sensitization' which added all kinds of symptoms to my pain, like anxiety for instance. For many years I just toughed it out, but I got more and more worn out.
interesting about training yourself to sleep I did not know you could do that. Appreciate the how to about melatonin- I used to take that but I would take it right at bedtime and got very limited help.
I don't take sleep med but I do take any meds that make me drowsy at night--so they seem to help me get to sleep better than I used to.
I don't have perfect sleep, but it is better than it was most of my life so I'm glad for that.
Hi Missit. Thank you for your reply. Catastrophize is a term used in CBT which means that every little things becomes like a catastrophe for some people and is very common for those with fibro. I don't take anything for pain because I have found nothing that works and I suffer badly from side effects. Have a look at my response to RosieLou's answer to my post. I have given a bit more information in there. I have a lot of anxiety too and lack of sleep contributes to that as well as causing it in the first place. Vicious cycle. If you are waking up a lot during the night this adds to the whole issue because "fragmented sleep" is considered to be a neurological condition and a consultation with a neurologist might be useful in this case. What do you take for pain and helping you to sleep?