Poor Sleep Increases Fibro Pain

deep restorative sleep is keyChronic poor sleep is the beginning of fibromyalgia. Sure chronic pain and even fatigue get all the press, but poor sleep is the real nail in the coffin for fibromyalgia.

Poor sleep leads to more pain, inflammation, brain fog, depression, fatigue, headaches, IBS, RLS, weight gain, and other health robbing symptoms.

Melatonin is the primary hormone of the pineal gland and acts to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, especially the sleep/wake cycle. When administered in pharmacological doses (1-3mgs), melatonin acts as a powerful sleep-regulating agent that controls the circadian rhythm.

The same area of the brain that releases melatonin also regulates the happy hormone serotonin. Serotonin helps to produce melatonin. If you are deficient in serotonin, you’ll also be deficient in melatonin (can’t sleep). If you’re low in serotonin, I recommend you start taking 300mg 5HTP before beginning melatonin therapy.

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Melatonin is affected by a person’s exposure to light. Melatonin levels start to rise as the sun goes down and drop off as the sun comes up. The retina (eyes) are extremely sensitive to changes in light. An increase in light that strikes the retina triggers a decrease in melatonin production. Conversely, limited exposure to light increases melatonin production. This explains why some individuals suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
What Can Decrease Melatonin Levels?

Chronic stress and depletion of stress coping chemicals including serotonin, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5HTP)• exposure to bright lights at night• exposure to electromagnetic fields• NSAIDs (Celebrex, Vioxx, Mobic, Alleve, Bextra,etc.)• SSRIs, yes the very same antidepressants that many take for FMS, including Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, and Lexapro.• anxiety meds (benzodiazepines) like Klonopin, Ativan, Xanax, Restoril, etc.• anti-hypertensive meds (beta-blockers, adrenergics, and calcium channel blockers) including, Inderal, Toprol, Tenormin, Lorpressor, etc.• steroids• over 3 mg. of vitamin B12 in a day.• caffeine• alcohol• tobacco• evening exercise (for up to three hours afterwards)• depression

Instead of addressing the cause, countless pharmaceuticals have been created to treat the symptoms of these conditions (many based on serotonin, the very hormone that is dependent upon producing your natural sleep hormone melatonin). Most patients are taking sleep drugs that don’t promote deep restorative sleep (benzodiazepines-Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Seroquel, etc.) and don’t ever feel rested.
Popular prescriptions for insomnia have recently made headlines due to “Risk of Death”. The following are only some that have been named:
  • Ambien
  • Restoril
  • Sonata
  • Lunesta
An article on FOX News.com stated,
“People who took more than 132 pills a year were not only five times more likely to die, but were also at greater risk of developing several types of cancer, and 35 percent more likely to be diagnosed with any type of cancer, overall”
In the UK, the following was said in an eye opening article;
”Experts have warned that sleeping pills prescribed in the UK could increase the risk of death more than four-fold.”
also finding that…
“The benefits of hypnotics, as critically reviewed by groups without financial interest, would not justify substantial risks.“ Sleeping Pills ‘Quadruple Risk Of Death’
The list of drugs used for treating anxiety is almost endless, however some of the more popular include:
  • Cymbalta
  • Ativan
  • Lexapro
  • Paxil
  • Valium
  • Xanax
Dr. Peter Bongiorno, naturopath, wrote an interesting article in Psychology Today. He states,
“These anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications are among the most prescribed in the United States – and possibly the most dangerous. According to a report in the 2010 Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, people who use anti-anxiety medication have a 36% increased mortality risk. That means persons using these drugs are almost 40% more likely to die than people who do not use them…”

Treat The Cause Not The Symptoms

Poor sleep can and must be corrected preferably with natural supplements which correct the cause, low serotonin and or melatonin. Sleep drugs potentially create more problems and often lead to other drugs. For an in-depth sleep program, read more here.
18 replies
  1. adele
    adele says:

    I have fybro and tried taking 5htp and I would wake up with a bad head ache every morning.I eat cherries and find there is enough melatonin in them for a good sleep.

  2. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    Anyone wanted to help all of us that are in chronic pain and suffering, should know that We cannot afford these HIGH prices for these gimmicks that say they work. We have to pay for Doctor visits and many, many RX that we are prescribed. You should be ashamed!

    • Dr. Rodger Murphree & Team
      Dr. Rodger Murphree & Team says:

      I’m sorry, but my fees are very reasonable, most of my information including teleconferences, recordings and articles are free and my books can be purchased for as little 11.95 at Amazon. I have nothing to be ashamed of, you are scolding the wrong person, perhaps the only doctor that actually wants to take time to help those with fibromyalgia.

      • Lisa Berney
        Lisa Berney says:

        Why dont you accept insurance for your services? Many people, myself included, really want to come to Bham or at least have conference calls with you. I have been following you for years now. I am waiting on the 5th edition to come into Books A Million!!
        Thank you

        • Dr. Rodger Murphree & Team
          Dr. Rodger Murphree & Team says:

          Lisa the call in teleconference calls are free. New patient Phone consults and in clinic consults are $129. Insurance won’t pay for phone consults which is 90% of my practice and won’t pay for nutritional consults either…The system is messed up…they will pay hundreds a month for drugs, to treat the symptoms, but not for nutritional consults.

  3. Sharon Cade
    Sharon Cade says:

    Sometimes reading the articles makes me even more depressed. I have fibro and insomnia as well as numerous other medical conditions. Have taken Effexor and clonazepam for years. Doctor didn’t bother to tell me how addictive these were. Now I also take trazodone just to get to sleep. Recent sleep study showed beginning AHI of 69 and only 12% of sleep time spent in Stage 3 and REM sleep. Now am using APAP and it is helping greatly with AHI. Just got it last week. Can’t follow many of your recommendations because of meds I take and feel so hopeless because I can’t get off the meds. Know they just make everything worse.

  4. Eneida Castillo
    Eneida Castillo says:

    Hello Dr.I have been taking melatonin for 4 month 3 MG tablet,let me tell you I have since then feeling more relaxed.My Dr just increased it to 10MG so I can sleep a little longer.Haveing fibromyalgia has ruined my life,so I keep trying to get it back or,at least learn to live with it.

  5. Carol Currie
    Carol Currie says:

    here is my question I live on a government shack I’m on disability on top of heaven fibromialgiaI don’t have the money to go by supplements you know of any organization or insurance that covers supplements yours desperatelyCarol.

  6. susan fuchs
    susan fuchs says:

    I have had cfs,then went into fib,its been over 20 yrs.I have always tried natural 5htp melatonin.But i also been all all anti depressions.6 yrs ago i went sleep study,ox drop to 87%,then i went 2 other study,i did not get in ream sleep.Then i got even worse last summer,no energy,now i’m on levothyroxine 100 mg,been on going on 2 month,feel no better.Sleep dr put me on provgil 200 mg.I’m slowing getting myself off prozac,wellbutrin xl 300mg.Also on pantoprazole for hiatal hernia,gastritis,they dilatation esophagealand had schatzki’s ring,this was found this yr.I have been trying natural and other.My Endocrinology,told me he don’t know what cfs was,call it what ever,but i waS TURNED OFF.oVER 20 YRS AGO THEY FOUND ENLARGE PITUITARY GLAND,OR AT FIRST THEY SAID A TUMOR ON PITUITARY,JUST HAD AN MRI THEY SAY ENLARGE??i GET OVER HEATED AND OUT OF BREATH,WHEN I DO LITTLE OR NOTHING,MY HAIR GETS WET.nOW I WILL NOT OVER DO IT,WITCH IS NOTHING,I DO A LITTLE AND SIT DOWN.lAST OCT WHEN I STARTED GOING TO DR ABOUT ALL THE NEW STUFF,I HAVE GAIN 40LBS,JUST IN THE IN THE MIDDLE.i ORDERED FROM bIOtRUST IC-5,ABSORBmAX,PRO-X10,LEPTIbURN,I ALSO GOT iODINE PLUS-2 FROM SOMEWHERE.bEEN SICK WAY TO LONG PAIN EVERYWHERE NO ENERGY IN MUSCLES AND BODY AND BRAIN.i HAVE TO MUCH MEDS,TO MANY dRS,TO MUCH,I CHARGED ALL OF bIO tRUST.i have been on ssi sence 1998,i need help,this is not living,i try to keep a smile,i’m a mess!!!

  7. lauren bahr
    lauren bahr says:

    I do not believe in sopplements, herbs, chiro,acupuncture, CBT, or anything else not medically based. And if you think phone consult is reasonable at $129, that eats up a lot of an approx 950$ / month income. They talk about all the medicare fraud. Wouldn’t it be better to write a script for Vicodin ES that I KNOW works. I was on it for 12 years. I went to church, sporting events of my kids & grandkids, I walked daily and ate right, lost 50 #. I felt so much better. Now FDA says no-no to Vicodin and my pain is unbearable. I will admit I have a lot more to deal with than fibromyalgia. But I was responsible with VicodinES that 3 doctors confirmed yet won’t prescribe again. I take ibuprofen for pain. A lot. I have gastric ulcers & Barretts. IBU is all I have to take so i keep taking it. They say it will kill me but what choice do i have? They’d rather see me dead than write a narcotic script. I have had 3 sleep studies. Never got into rem sleep for any of them. Cry at night til I fall asleep about 3-4 am then sleep til 2-3 pm. Don’t go to church anymore, to family gatherings, my kids & grandkids birthday celebrations. The last 2 Thanksgivings & Christmas’ I sat home and cried. Was in Hosp in Sept for suicidal ideation and have been in hospital for suicide attempts. I am on 2700mg / day for neuropathy, EffexorXR 300mg/day & that’s it. A lot was cut when I was in hospital. Now, wouldn’t it be cheaper to write Vicodin ES script than to try stuff that is expensive and doesn’t work. I could have my life back. Now, I am just waiting to die. I am in misery and doctors don’t care. They would rather see me die than write that script.

    • Dr. Rodger Murphree & Team
      Dr. Rodger Murphree & Team says:

      Don’t even know where to begin answering this post….if pain meds helped, great go find another doctor like pain doctor who will write script for pain meds, that is what they do. And I agree you should be able to take pain meds since they helped. The world is round wether some still think it is flat doesn’t matter….there are thousands of MEDICAL backed studies validating vitamin. mineral supplement therapies.

  8. Lisa Hillinger
    Lisa Hillinger says:

    Hi Dr. Murphree,
    This is the first time I have read any of the comments that people send you. WOW!!!! I can’t believe how patient you are. But I know you are because you walked me through some HARD and painful times starting back in Nov. 2011.
    I am a success story for Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia. I work very hard to keep well, I have put in 100’s of hours in learning to understand how my body works and what I can do to help myself.
    When I first found your website I was such a mess and was praying for death (had been for 10 years).
    I was spending way more money on meds and gimmicks to relieve pain and sleep then I am now for my supplements. YES they cost money but if you weigh out the bennifits and add up what you spend through other methods you will find this affordable and healthy.
    I have a book of my own testimonis along with about 6 other friends I have given your book to that are now living well too!!
    So THANK YOU for being kind and patient and for trying to provide affordable resourses for us.
    I hope others will open up to receive help and allow themselves to live well. I got so used to being miserable the I had to learn to live again. I did and so can you!
    Aloha and God bless you, sincerly Lisa Hillinger (Maui,Hawaii)


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