Better sleep - 30 wakers & stoppers

Like many, I have to sleep more (+1h = 9h) than before fibro, with more waking up & trying to get to sleep again, 3-8x per night, 30’-4h. Sleep lab said: reduced slow wave sleep phases, otherwise OK. They measured 78% snoring, but I don’t (audio check), so it was my nose problem, see below.
Some of the stuff I unsuccessfully tried was Willow bark, glutamine, valeriana, passiflora, tryptophan, 5 HTP, progesterone, lavender, Swiss pine. What helped getting me back to sleep for a few months, but too harmful (8 adverse effects): amitriptyline. 9mg of 10% CBD oil for a week made me tired in the daytime, but not at night.

Aside from my pain diary, I started a sleep diary. Getting pains down (with osteopathy, acupressure, yoga) helped sleep a lot too. The Ache in the daytime is more of a problem and harder to keep down, but is strangely hardly a problem at night, only sometimes, when I overdo it, cold showering before going to bed helps me. These basics allowed to pinpoint, analyze and treat/trick the various sleep symptoms more and more.
Self-discipline with writing a sleep diary, even abbreviated, and using it, is necessary. It may cost 1’ every time, if you have a lot of things one after the other, it may throw you out completely for one night, but it’s worth it in the end. Keep it in balance.

This list is adapted from my blog:

Sleep hygiene

  • Try changing sleeping time. I always tend to sleep better before 10pm, more like 9:30 or 9pm.
  • Shut yourself down / go into sleep mode at least an hour before. Incl. anything that could trigger your thoughts, like computer (even if you have that in night shift mode, i.e. without the blue light.)
  • Try not to sleep at daytime. Power nap under 20mins at most.


  • Light: blackout curtains or blinds till every single ray stays out.
  • Noises: Ear plugs if you can (try all the various types). Noise reducing headphones. (Water-noises.) Change room/bed.
  • Nose congested or crusty at about 4am: Sinupret (herb pills) works best (seems to liquefy), hot pad on !feet is very good too (sometimes sinuses or forehead, move it round), changing sleeping sides (sometimes the congestion is best on the upper nostril, sometimes on the lower). Nose strips help breathing, but careful if you have sensitive skin, take it off after 3 hours. If it’s crusty (heating in winter): ointment (best before the night). Keep room air damp with wet towels on the heating (not above 60%, to prevent mold) (plants and other things don’t help that much). Use various acupressure points. Pull tip of nose long for a few minutes. Breathe intensely a while thru the congested nostril. Breathing exercise. Cold shower. Hot/cold shower. One doc I know assumes it’s a fibro thing, but I haven’t heard this from fibromites online. My ENTs suggest a laser-operation, but I’d rather not (they say 5 weeks feeling like you have a cold; but that’s not counting fibro-amplification…)
  • Soft palate noisy after a few mins. lying on back: turn head.

Bladder / Urological:

  • Peeing: Drink earlier in the day, only soy drink, only small sips at night.

Gut/Stomach / Gastrointestinal:

  • Gut: Find Your Diet. Don’t eat later than 7pm. Psyllium.
  • Hyperacidic stomach burning: Find Your Diet. Sip of drink (in my case soy). Gastritol (herbs). If unaviodable eat something light and quickly/not “chewable”, like yoghurt. Preferably with lights out/very dim and with no stimulating smells, suitable temperature.

Muscles/Joints//Tendons/Fascies/“Bones” - (Orthopedic)/Physiotherapeutic (from bottom to top)

  • Everything: Try out different mattresses. I need a hard one for my middle back, but just putting a thin soft topper on it helped loads. Or a fur under sensitive part of the body (e.g. lower back) might. Hot pads / water bottle. Stretching by lying twisted/askew. Burning feeling: cold pad?
  • Stabs: Hot water bottle, arnica cream, massage, trigger points, acupressure points.
  • Thigh: Twisting leg outward at knee or foot (outside or in bed).
  • (Calf-)Cramps: Stretching (turning) (early enough). Drinking enough? (For some: Magnesium)
  • Lower back: Back exercises, Yoga back exercises. Daytime. At night: cold showering.
  • Elbow / wrist etc.: When cocked: straighten. Tendons, not joints!?! Pins’n’needles.
  • Middle back: Small hard cushion under it.
  • Clavicle: Trigger pointing. Arnica cream.
  • Neck: Wedge a small pillow/cushion under forehead & half of my face, so face-down. (Face-up is a problem because of my palate noise, but sometimes it’s OK.) Even better might be a ring cushion with breath-holes… Something like a higher mattress next to yours.

Mind / Psychological:

  • Thinking this/Notes: Pda (palm) next to bed if there is a lot happening.
  • Dreams: Breathe, autogenic training, turn dreams round in a pleasant direction (practice while drowsing).
  • Ideas: My ruminations are usually positive ones about my music or work, so I call them - positively - “ideas”, but they still disturb my sleep. Either way: Sometimes I have to get up and just write things down/compose for a certain time. However long (I try to get it under 10mins.): Cold showering gets me tired again afterwards.

Lungs / Pneumatological:

  • Lying on chest: Sometimes obstructs oxygen-need. Sometimes place pillow and blankets so it’s less.

Teeth / Dental:

  • Inflammations: Marigold Essence. If sipping necessary: not on that side.

Skin / Dermatological:

  • Itchy: Less water on skin. Lotion. Wash hair in time.
  • Bites: Plaster to prevent scratching.

Dunno / Everything / Misc.:

  • Sleeping together: Don’t be “considerate” ;-(, do what body needs, i.e. move. Not too long. More intense contact / quality time at day.
  • Hot: Air room before/during/in between sleep, swap blankets & pyjamas earlier. Cold shower.
  • Headache: Drink, eat, deep breathe. Mint oil. Massage, acupressure points (various possibilities)
  • Awake / restless (you don’t have to have restless legs/RLS to feel restless O.o): Enjoy drowsing if that feels right. Count it as sleep!!! Don’t get uptight about it. And I keep plugging it: I sleep like a baby, for 2h-4h about 10’ (seldom 20’) after a COLD SHOWER (2x1’, starting with legs)! It stops a part of my thoughts, the Ache and the pains. Or hot 1’ then cold 2x1’. And keep hot pad etc. ready in case necessary.

Working on my sleep even more now, I’ve just had a spree of ideas, which seem to work:

Firstly I’m surprised, not sure yet, but taking an afternoon nap of 45’ has been followed by a very good night’s sleep with only 3 short breaks.
More sure about these, to do in bed while trying to get (back) to sleep:
Feeling hot: not changing blankets (too much effort), just turning them, cold side in, as much as nec…
Restlessness, esp. from the lower back:
Cobra-position as long as it takes, but that takes some effort, so wakes you up a bit.
Cat-/cow-position, arch and round back, but just lying on your side or back, so no big effort, 2x4x (= 4x each way).
Lying on 1 leg, twisting the other to the back and to the front, 2x4x.
Super-Twist: Lying face-down, keep legs there, but twist torso as far as possible “180°”, 2x4x.

Stiffness - A game-changer?
Before changing position (mainly “getting up” after sitting or lying down):
:bangbang: Twist both arms and legs outwards & inwards, 2x4x. Careful tho, doing it too strongly may be too much. :bangbang: Also with neck back when you turn everything outwards, and to the front when inwards, like lying with your back on a ball, then front, 2x4x.

This has helped me before getting up from lying at night, from sitting (used it first time in a bus yesterday), makes back exercises easier in the morning, etc.

The difference of my way is doing it without getting up in any way, just turning while lying (or sitting) down, plus keeping it quick & short.

I wanted to summarize these ideas as micro-yoga, seeing as they are quick & short, but that’s already taken, so perhaps nano-yoga, :rofl: Oh no, that exists too… and is still longer than what I’m talking about, so: piko/pico-yoga? That just seems the name of a few yoga schools…

My inspirations: realizing that everything I do needs to be quick & short, reading somewhere to stretch 5’ before doing something, can’t remember exactly, the idea of my acupressurist to let my knees fall to each side a few times and then rock the spine, which didn’t work tho, trying the cobra at night a couple of times against the seemlingly restless legs/back (hope this saves me from having to try Levodopa). The fast-twisting to alleviate stiffness came to me in a bus, self-consciously sitting on the disabled seats for 30mins…

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JSC! Thanks so much for sending this info. and the stretches. Who knew there were so many types of yoga!
I like to stretch while I play fetch with Bella. She can play fetch for a really really really long time…No use just standing there!
I love that you posted easy stretches. That’s just my speed :upside_down_face:

Sleep hygiene

Napping is usually not recommended, but try it or power naps and compare…
Get ruminating down: Cut off thoughts with “Stop!”, “scissors”, “chainsaw”, cold showering…
Nightmares: Reality check, reverse imaging techniques…
Sleep diary

German Was ist Revenge Bedtime Procrastination? |
German Revenge bedtime procrastination: Warum wir Schlaf gegen Handy-Zeit eintauschen - WELT

This post here has easy to read ‘normal ideas’ listed and a bit of discussion about napping or not.

This is a nice and long one:
Tylenon, nortriptyline, scent bubble bath, sound machine (e.g. rainstorms, picturing this), Ambien, melatonin, reading, watching TV (esp. boring, low volume), blankets, electric blankets, amitritypline, Tramadol, ‘Lyrica’, L-Tryptophan, valarian root, sleep mask, Trazadone, ‘Adderall’, ‘Lights Off’(?), From Fatigued to Fantastic by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D.: Jamaican Dogwood, Passion Flower, L-theanine, Valerian, Hops extract, Flexeril, Valium, Opana, ear plugs, fan, thick scarf, hoodie, Temazepam, sleeper bed (recliner), cross stitch, drink something warm before bed, memory foam pillow, drink for dry mouth, cotton in ears, Lunesta, snuggle (blankets with arms).

And another old post about sleep hygiene basics: Sleep Hygiene

L-theanine is the reason I found one of the links here above about insomnia, with loads of ideas.

These are some good links for Theanine (L-γ-glutamylethylamide, N 5-ethyl-L-glutamine), which is an amino acid analogue of the proteinogenic amino acids L-glutamate/Glutamic acid and L-glutamine/Glutamine. My interest in this has increased since GABA is working for me and maybe glutamic acid did do, but also increased my focal seizures, so praps amino acids and their analogues might work for me. Trudy Scott (blog, website, book) and others on her blog share lots of experience with these.

Side effects: GI. 400mg. headache, sleepiness. THEANINE: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews L-Theanine Side Effects & Adverse Reactions (List) - Mental Health Daily If GI: keep low & with meals L-Theanine: Dosage, Benefits, and Side Effects

Passiflora / Passion flower: Pain and insomnia - #12 by JayCS
Magnesium types: Medications - Other Options - #6 by JayCS
Amino acids: Amino Acids for low serotonin / dopamine etc

:one: What helps me get to sleep reliably is a cold shower before bed.
:two: What supports that & keeps sleep breaks down to 3-4’ is passiflora 3x289 ~1h before bedtime.
:three: What also supports it, but then helps with many things at daytime are GABA, glutamine and a 4th 1x289 passiflora ~2h after bedtime.
:four: What also supports it & shortens sleep length, increases effectivity & wakes me up faster the next day is "300"mg theanine ~4h after bedtime.
:five: What helps me wake up after 8h may be 300mg theanine, balanced by 400mg GABA, then.

I’m looking into indoor climate as a trigger now, sparked off with stuffy nose at night as well as too cold & wet rooms JayCS’s Fibro Blog - #567 by JayCS. This is a new one I haven’t seen often. For me it first seemed mainly a sleep problem, but it’s also about mould prevention and in summer and winter I am often too cold, needing a hot water bottle or recluding to my own room, and that’s not just the fibro, it’s the underheated rooms (<20°C/68°F). So I may be starting a new thread instead.
Interesting that I’d just had a go at fibro weather triggers here…: Fibromyalgia & Weather: results from a new study - #4 by JayCS
What do you think, what’s your take on this?

Lying in bed I’ve now pretty much developed 6 positions:
:one: I start each stint off with a cushion under my hunchback, shoulders and head back.
:two: recovery position to one side,
:three: plus upper leg backwards, sometimes arched like in six.
:four: and :five: other side.
:six: Stretching/arching legs/back/head backwards to various degrees, but at a large angle only <5’, otherwise it hurts my knees, good for lower back unrest tho.
Often have to get hair out of face and scratch my face and lower back and front too, and cold showering to get to sleep quicker has become normal. Sitting good on other high chairs. Slouching and floor sitting spreads the pressure. Bladder 0-1.

Quoted from this entry (2021-08-08) on my blog.