Fatigued or something else?

All your fibromyalgia experiences, questions and answers.

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Re: Fatigued or something else?

Postby Sarah_89 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:43 pm

Zia2014 wrote:
Icarus wrote:Sarah
I thought that you only dream in NREM and REM not in stage 4 restorative sleep. I may be (and probably am) wrong though

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That's right, you only dream during REM not Stage 4. I checked a while back as I am always dreaming and thought I was getting good sleep, turned out I wasn't! :sleep:

Looks like my meds just help me stay asleep & in REM sleep & maybe I still don't get to stage 4 sleep. That would explain why I'm still feeling fatigued & in pain & my symptoms are worsening. I'm suffering terribly with fibro fog at the moment as well. Thanks for making things clearer guys :-) who needs doctors when you've got the internet! I'm on 300mg of pregabalin twice a day for the pain as well & I know that I'd be in a much worse state if I wasn't on the meds but I'm still in a very bad way & the doctors say they can't do any more for me :-(.
I am a fibro fighter! :-)

Keep fighting guys and gals and stay strong! Gentle hugs

Sarah x
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Re: Fatigued or something else?

Postby Gracious » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:51 pm

There can be lots of explanations and reasons for why someone is feeling fatigued. It would be incorrect to assume its all down to poor sleep. I would still recommend seeing your GP when you can get an appointment, particularly if this is a new type of flare your not used too experiencing.

If anything I would suggest a blood check, including vitamin D, B12 and magneseum, plus electrolytes would be worth a check too. Its recommended that individuals with fibro get bloods checked every three months. (Note also Vitamin D levels for normal individuals are around 50mg, but doctors recommend a level of 75mg for Fibro.)

In regards to restorative sleep. Unless you've been to a sleep clinic and had it confirmed that you do not achieve any restorative sleep I would not necessarily assume. We all want reasons and explanations for our fatigue, for us humans like the certainty it gives us. But you could be buying into a reason that can be counter productive for sleeping. The thing is there are 4 stages to sleep and in actual fact a normal individual would only ever achieve 2-3 hours of REM sleep per night, that's all.

I've always been a poor sleeper with bouts of insomnia, suffering at one stage two and half years of insomnia and trying various drugs and methods to help me fall and stay asleep. I've learned that we can contribute to the problem and make it worse. Drugs can help you to fall asleep, stay asleep, but its a false sleep. I now sleep drug free, and for 6 to 8 hours, with the odd awakening (Natures call). Now I will occassional have a poor night, but I have learned not to stress that the insomnia is back, and yes a poor night sleep impacts on your day and pacing adjustment is advisable.

All I could say, if anyone wants to improve there sleep, you first have to work on your thoughts and beliefs about sleep and I would recommend reading "The Sleep Book" . It was recommended to me and it changed my whole way of thinking about sleep and rest. It enabled me to get over to sleep quicker, and to fall back into a sleep quickly if woken (With fibro, that can be often).

Even if the doctors tell you, the symptoms list tell you, the specialists tell you, and your mind too, that your fibro is affecting your REM sleep, how helpful is that to enabling you in improving your sleep. If anything it can lead to more worry, anxiety about sleep, the impact of no sleep, the need for drugs etc and guess what, the more you worry and buy into all of this the harder it is to obtain getting to sleep and any unaided quality of sleep.

If I had listened to my doctors, I'd still be an insomniac today on large doses of Z drugs, with nothing but side effects to managed and no sense of control over myself and my ability to sleep.

[Please Note: My objective was to improve my sleep and break the insomnia cycle. In regards to fatigue and fibro, as you know there are so many things that can be a contributing factor. So even if you improve your sleep there is no guarantee the fatigue you experience will improve, but you will have an improved sense of well being in achieving unaided quality sleep.]

This is based on my own experience and I accept we are all different, but I hope this is of some help to you.

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Re: Fatigued or something else?

Postby carolad » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:14 am

Gracious - that is a good point that there can be other reasons for fatigue - like vitamin deficiencies or food intolerances. I was trying all sorts of vitamins and supplements and diet changes to see if that helped with fatigue because I thought I was sleeping ok. For years I had survived on very little sleep due to severe back pain but when I started taking Tramadol and Amitriptyline, I would get 6-7 hours sleep at night. I knew why I was tired when I wasn't sleeping but couldn't understand why I was sleeping better but feeling just as tired as before.

Then I bought a Fitbit and used the sleep tracker - it records your movements so will tell you when you are in a light restless sleep and when you are likely to be in deep sleep (because you aren't moving). And this is when I found out I wasn't getting restorative sleep because it is so broken. So I might get 4 minutes of sleep, 20 minutes restless, 8 minutes sleep, 12 minutes restless...and that continues until around 5/6am when I usually get about an hour of uninterrupted sleep. So I know for me, it is definitely the poor quality sleep that is causing my fatigue.

The Rheumatologist I saw (before I found out about my poor sleep) did go on about 'non restorative sleep' and he thought that it was the cause of fibromyalgia, not a symptom. There does seem to be a close link between the two but hard to tell which comes first.

So it's a good idea to rule out other causes of fatigue first but if you don't want to go for a full sleep study, using a Fitbit sleep tracker will give you an indication of your sleeping patterns so you will know if it is poor quality sleep making you tired.

The difficult thing is working out what you can do to improve the quality of your sleep!
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Re: Fatigued or something else?

Postby bandj » Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:54 pm

Rheumy dx me then back to gp. Nevef even be offered pain clinic but requesting it now. Fatigue has always been my worst problem. I try and keep going during the day but that doesn't always work. I was awake half the night the other day so I made some cards. It stopped me getting frustrated by not sleeping! :-D
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