Fibromyalgia & Good Sleep Habits

cant sleep, Dr. Rodger MurphreeWait until you are sleepy before going to bed. If you’re not sleepy at your regular bedtime, try to relax your body and distract your mind by reading, listening to music, or some other activity. Try to wind down one hour before bed-avoid watching Pre-sleep rituals help to initiate relaxation each night before bed. A warm bath, light snack, or a few minutes of reading or listening to music can initiate good sleep. Avoid eating heavy meals near bedtime. If you’re not asleep in 20 minutes, get out of bed. If you are not asleep after 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and find something else that will relax you enough to help make you sleepy.

Try to keep a regular sleep/wake schedule. Wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends and holidays.

Keep a regular daily schedule. Maintaining a regular schedules for meals, medications, chores, and other activities helps keep your body’s clock running smoothly. Get a full night’s sleep on a regular basis.  Get enough sleep every day so that you feel well-rested. If possible, avoid naps. If you have to take a nap, try to keep it to less than one hour and avoid taking a nap after 3 p.m.

Do not read, eat, watch TV, talk on the phone, surf the Web, do homework, or play board games in bed. The bedroom is for intimacy and sleep nothing else, disconnect computers, move work stations or projects out of your bedroom!  Also …

  • Avoid caffeine after lunch.avoid grabbing a coffee after your lunch hour
  • Avoid alcohol of any type within six hours of your bedtime.
  • Do not smoke or ingest nicotine within two hours of your bedtime.
  • Exercise regularly, but avoid strenuous exercise within six hours of your bedtime. Regular exercise is good, but do it earlier in the day. Also, remember to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
  • Avoid sleeping pills, or use them cautiously.


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 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.“ 


Experts have warned that sleeping pills prescribed in the UK could increase the risk of death more than four-fold. The higher the dose, the greater the risk of dying, according to new research. People on higher doses have also been found to have an increased risk of cancer. The study of more than 10,500 people analysed a wide range of drugs. They included drugs commonly used in the UK, such as benzodiazepines (including temazepam and diazepam), non-benzodiazepine (including zolpidem, zopiclone and zaleplon), barbiturates and sedative antihistamines.

Around a third of people in the UK are thought to suffer bouts of insomnia and for some it can become a debilitating problem. Insomnia tends to be more common in women and is more likely to affect people as they get older.

The new research was carried out by experts at the Jackson Hole Centre for Preventive Medicine in Wyoming and the Scripps Clinic Viterbi Family Sleep Centre in California. They found people prescribed sleeping pills were 4.6 times more likely to die during a two-and-half-year period compared to those not taking the drugs. The researchers said their “most striking finding” was that those on the lowest doses – four to 18 pills a year – had a 3.6 times higher risk of dying compared to non-users.

But the higher the dose, the greater the risk – with those taking 18 to 132 pills a year having a 4.4 times higher risk of dying, and people on more than 132 pills a year having a 5.3 times higher chance of death.

woman sleeping wellThe group of people taking the highest doses each year accounted for 93% of all prescriptions in the study. This group were also 35% more likely to develop a major cancer. The researchers, writing in the journal BMJ Open, concluded: “As predicted, patients prescribed any hypnotic had substantially elevated hazards of dying compared to those prescribed no hypnotics.”  They added: “Receiving hypnotic prescriptions was associated with greater than three-fold increased hazards of death even when prescribed fewer than 18 pills a year.”

The experts said their results held true even when other factors, such as whether a person had an illness such as heart disease, were taken into account. The effects were greatest among the 18 to 55-year-old age group. The report’s authors said: “The meagre benefits of hypnotics, as critically reviewed by groups without financial interest, would not justify substantial risks. “A consensus is developing that cognitive-behavioural therapy of chronic insomnia may be more successful than hypnotics.”

Always use sleeping pills as prescribed by your physician.

Try to clear your mind of things that make you worry. Find ways to relieve stress and aggravation before you go to sleep. The bed is a place to rest, not a place to worry about the day’s problems.  Maintain a quiet, dark and cool bedroom environment. Every person has his or her own personal preference as to the ideal sleep environment.  Extreme heat or cold should be avoided.  If you need noise, use white noise or soft music.  If you need light, use off-light such as a night light in the bathroom or hallway.



Dr. Murphree’s Sleep Program

These patients and hundreds of others who’ve worked personally with me have in fact beaten their fibromyalgia. You can read or listen to their stories by clicking the link below:


Cynthia's Story

Janna's Story


Robin's Story

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