Fibromyalgia And Sleep

Fibromyalgia is an extremely painful condition that is widespread throughout the entire body and can cause joint and muscle stiffness, sleep problems, and fatigue.  Pain becomes a focal point in the life of a fibromyalgia patient, where every action and every thought is consumed by the debilitating effects and the need to fix the problem.  Because pain symptoms interrupt sleep, chronic daytime fatigue is a major concern and likely causing more pain symptoms, so that the condition becomes a vicious cycle of sleepless nights and over-tiredness leading to over-sensitivity to pain.

Woman with glass of water takes pills, isolated on white. Taking medicationFibromyalgia is a very difficult syndrome to treat because symptoms will often be misdiagnosed or misunderstood and can vary in location and intensity, befuddling doctors as to the cause.  One of the most common complaints in fibro patients is the loss of sleep, but the loss of sleep is due to the pain, so that means the pain will need to be addressed first and foremost.  Treatment for fibro pain are addressed in other articles, but include changing diet, using special herbs, increasing certain vitamins and minerals, and using special stretches and exercises.

Once the severity of the pain is lessened, sleep patterns can be addressed.  Fortunately, there are some really good and safe ways to help you sleep better with this diagnosis, allowing you to feel more rested in the morning so that you can focus more on getting your body into a state of comfortable functioning, without excessive pain.

Are Sleeping Pills The Answer?

An estimated six to 10 percent of US adults used some sort of hypnotic sleeping pill in 2010. But, as evidenced by a new study, using sleeping pills can be a dangerous, not to mention ineffective, solution. According to the new research, using prescription sleeping pills can increase your risk of cancer and premature death. In fact, the study, published in the BMJ Open, suggests that those who take such medications are nearly four times more likely to die than people who don’t take them.

“We are not certain. But it looks like sleeping pills could be as risky as smoking cigarettes. It looks much more dangerous to take these pills than to treat insomnia another way,” study leader Daniel F. Kripke, MD, tells WebMD.

Natural Ways to Restore Deep Sleep

The first thing to do is make a sleep schedule and stick to it.  The biological functioning and circadian rhythms are needed for restoration and full rest of the body’s systems and functioning, especially the brain.  Set a time for bed and a time for wake up every day, no matter what.  Also, don’t sleep more than 8 to 10 hours.  Oversleeping can add to fatigue and make it difficult to focus during the day.

Utilize natural supplements like magnesium, calcium, melatonin, and valerian root.  Talk to a naturopathic or functional medicine practitioner for how much to use, as you may need higher dosages because of fibro symptoms.  Magnesium and calcium are good for the muscles and the bones.  For more controlled or minor symptoms, try taking a double dose of a magnesium supplement 30 minutes before bedtime.  5HTP, melatonin, and other natural remedies have been proven to be especially helpful in restoring deep refreshing sleep.

Gentle yoga stretches that focus on stretching muscles in problem areas an hour or two before bedtime is also a great way to control nighttime pain symptoms. Meditating or praying before bed is a wonderful way to relax your mind and put your body at rest. It will take a combined effort of different regimens to find what will work best for you.  The trick is knowing and listening to your body and finding a natural functional practitioner that will help you through the process.

sleep program Dr. Rodger Murphree's

You can learn about how to restore deep restorative sleep in my Fibromyalgia and Sleep Program. In this comprehensive webinar, audio, video, and written report you’ll learn exactly what to do to get consistently get a good night’s sleep, without resorting to potentially dangerous sleep drugs. Learn more at:

Join me each week for my Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia Teleconference. The conference is free and is a great way to get your questions answered. Find out more at


Have you read my 5th edition Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome book yet? You can order the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or here

6 replies
  1. Gayle Weiss
    Gayle Weiss says:

    It is impossible for me to do the teleconference calls on Tuesday evenings. Is there any way you could email me the transcript each week, please? I find your information on fibromyalgia to be very informative and helpful in many ways. Thank you!
    Gayle Weiss

  2. Alice Screws
    Alice Screws says:

    My daughter has severe fibromialgia. She has received no help whatsoever from doctors in our mid-Nebraska area. At this point we’re looking for any help available. My daughter is on Medicare and Medicaid so is financially strapped. Is there any hope ANYWHERE for this disease???

  3. Debra J. Kelly Greene MS Edu
    Debra J. Kelly Greene MS Edu says:

    Dr Murphree, Your site is the most positive one that I have found during my long term research regarding FMS. I have had symptoms since I was 27 and I am now 55. I had to ask for disability in my early forties. It took seven years for me to get approved. In my youth I was a long distance runner and got a Masters in Vocational Rehab. Counseling at age 39, so I learned to research and write. My master thesis was on a mental health topic. I worked as a case manager for disabled adults at one point in my twenty year career. I went from a go getter A type personality to a housebound recluse. Thankfully I have turned my health to be much better in the past few years. I’ve hit a rough patch in the past few months but I know how to persevere. Believe me these invisible illness that I have have stolen so much of my life away and I am a FIGHTER. If you could do one thing to help me it would be to give me some advise as to how I could go about getting my personal journey of my battle with my illness published. I have come so far and learned so much in the past years. Even before the advent of the WWW I would read anything I could get my hands on. I have really have been to Hell and back with this. It is my determined belief that my story could help many people with this horrible malady. My face book page is really the quickest way to communique with me. I have faced the dragons in my life and have turned my health around a great deal. I am not at 100 percent and don’t really think this ever goes away, but I have made great strides. Please help me with this for it is my personal quest that I must do. Sincerely yours with the utmost respect, Debra J. Kelly Greene, MS Edu Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor from Drake University 1989 PS My undergrad degree was in Speech Communication at UNI so I am a skilled speaker and would like to do inspirational speaking in the future. Thanks in advance for everything. I do look forward to reading more about your treatments!! djkgc


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