Posted by: Little Miss | March 21, 2008

Maybe the simplest solution – ever.

About a week or so ago, I had a complete meltdown. I had not been getting any sleep – something very familiar for those with fibromyalgia. The restless leg syndrome was becoming unbearable, and the insomnia was torture. I was lucky if I was getting a solid four hour stretch of sleep each night. Finally, I sat with my daughter, in tears, and said something had to change. I had no idea what to do. She tossed out the idea of melatonin. Desperate for any relief, short of full-on narcotics, which I will not take, I looked into it. 

Here’s what the Mayo Clinic says about melatonin:

Melatonin is a neurohormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland, from the amino acid tryptophan. The synthesis and release of melatonin are stimulated by darkness and suppressed by light, suggesting the involvement of melatonin in circadian rhythm and regulation of diverse body functions. Levels of melatonin in the blood are highest prior to bedtime. Synthetic melatonin supplements have been used for a variety of medical conditions, most notably for disorders related to sleep.

For $3.99 for a bottle of 100 3mg tablets (that also combine vitamin B6), this is the best remedy ever – for me. I tried the Gabapentin prescribed by my doctor for the restless leg syndrome and it helped, but only mildly, and the side effect of edema-swollen feet and legs was not one I was willing to accept. It also did nothing to help the fibromyalgia pain and insomnia.

So, I’ve been trying this melatonin, along with some vitamin B1 and my regular vitamin D, for nearly a week now. I take 3mg at night, about an hour before bed. Last night, I slept from 11 to 7:30 and I do not remember waking up or getting up once. AMAZING. Friggin’ amazing. I also have not experienced any restless leg syndrome for the last few days – usually a nightly occurrence – and my fibro pain has been mild. Although the mild pain I cannot necessarily attribute to melatonin, because it goes through periods of semi-remission anyway.

Time will tell if this is a long term solution to the insomnia and sleep deprivation, but I’m feeling much more rested each morning. Combined with the dietary changes I’m making in my life, I hope to start feeling better soon. The fibro may never go away, but hopefully this will make life a bit more manageable.

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Responses

  1. LM, did you read that you can only take melatonin temporarily? I don’t want to put a damper on your discovery, because I am all to familiar with the joys of finding something that helps you sleep, but I tried melatonin last summer and it stopped working after a few weeks. So I upped it to 5 mg and even though it wasn’t working, I still took it along with some OTC sleeping meds on occasion. Well, come to find out, 5mg is way too much (and dangerous) and you’re only supposed to take the melatonin for brief periods. I’ve stopped taking it completely. Did you read about this anywhere in your research?

  2. Oh no! No, I didn’t read that anywhere. Dang. I’ll keep reading and researching. I’ve been taking the 3 mg pill for a week now. One place I read even recommended 9 mg. I’ll have to find that. I totally believe you. Dang, dang, dang.

  3. Ah, yes, Wendy… here it is. You are right. I didn’t read far enough. I trust the Mayo Clinic. They were the ones that diagnosed my dad’s pulmonary fibrosis finally – but when it was too late.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/melatonin/NS_patient-melatonin#81EC7901-E7FF-0DBD-132885D287857E8D

  4. I took Melatonin off an on for quite a while. It’s suppose to re-regulate your sleep patterns. So, you should only need it for a short while. Hopefully it works for you, it worked WONDERS for me.

  5. My husband has been battling this monster for almost 5 years and he is at his limit! I need a support group to get hooked up with for him and myself. As his spouse, I struggle with what to say and do for him! Please help!

  6. @April – it has helped. I don’t need to take it all the time now, but I know if I get off track, it will help me.

    @Julie – is he battling insomnia or fibromyalgia? I’m not clear, so I don’t know how to help you or what suggestions to offer. I know it must be hard as a spouse though to not be able to do anything but watch and love them.


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