Fibromylagia is a syndrome, meaning that there are a multiple of things going wrong in the fibro body (such as issues with sleep, muscle function, cognitive processing, and hormones). Many fibro doctors encourage patients to start with tackling the sleep issue first, since sleep has a profound effect on the other areas.
Many fibro patients are very aware of what is known as “un-refreshed sleep”. Upon waking, they feel their sleep was non-restorative, leaving them in a fibro-fog with their minds un-refreshed, instead of clear. They may have slept 8 – 10 hours, but felt like they slept only a few hours, or even just 5 minutes.
During a normal sleep cycle, a person goes into a deep sleep state which releases hormones that repair tired muscles. In fibromylagia, the patient does not enter into deep levels of sleep, thus the hormones for repairing the muscles are not released. The end result is tired, achy muscles upon waking. Healthy people who stay up too long, can experience the state of fibro patients. They become tired, disoriented, and their muscles begin to malfunction.
There are a number of natural supplements that help induce sleep and calmness: Valerian, Passion Flower, Hops, Kava Kava, L- Theanine, Gaba, 5-HTP, tryptophan, melatonin,etc. At your health food store, you can buy these separately, or in combinations in the “sleep” section. Many fibro doctors now produce their own combinations, since they have found their combinations can often work better than mainstream brands. So in short, I recommend starting with the fibro doctors suggestions first (since they have a better understanding of the sleep problem in fibro patients). Here are my suggestions:
- Dr. Teitelbaum’s, “Revitalizing Sleep Formula” (which I highly recommend):
You can purchase this at : www.enzy.com or at your health food store.
2) Dr. Murphree suggests taking 1 milligram of melatonin, along with 100 – 300 mg of 5-HTP. You can buy these at your health foods store or through Dr. Murphree’s website at: www.treatingandbeatingfibromyalgia.com
3) The company Prohealth (whose founder suffered with chronic fatigue) developed a sleep formula to help as well: