3 supplements that help to improve sleep in fibromyalgia sufferers
Photography credit: Paige Marie via Unsplash
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How many times have you heard that to improve your fibromyalgia you need to improve the quality of your sleep? I’m guessing that it’s more times than you care to count. The reason being that sleep is the absolute number one thing that is going to help you to feel better. It’s, therefore, the top advice everyone will give you.

The problem is, sleep is the most difficult thing in the world to resolve. Or at least it feels that way! Disruptive sleep is a primary symptom of fibromyalgia. Individuals can experience various different sleep problems including difficulty falling asleep, waking continually through the night, poor quality sleep and insomnia.

It’s so ironic that we suffer from unrelenting fatigue (with some spending all day practically falling asleep) and yet when it comes to bedtime, sleep just doesn’t happen. Some of us will get to bedtime and actually get a second wind and feel wired! Does that sound familiar? If so you might want to look into getting your adrenal function tested.

The way I have approached sleep is to try and address the underlying dysfunction in my body that is preventing me from sleeping in the first place. While that’s a whole topic in itself, today I want to share with you 3 supplements that have helped to improve my sleep.

As always, this post is for information purposes only and what works for me may not necessarily work for others. I advise that you speak to your doctor if any of these supplements interest you.

1. Vital Plan HPA Balance

I have been taking this product for a few months now. I would say I credit Vital Plan HPA balance with helping to improve the quality of my sleep (and also for reducing fibro fog).

Understanding Fibromyalgia

I feel I am getting much deeper sleep thanks to this supplement. I was still waking a couple of times through the night (more on that in a bit) but because my sleep quality improved, I began to feel better in the mornings as a result of taking HPA balance. I also feel that HPA balance has helped with improving my overall well-being.

I take two capsules in the morning and two again in evening. As the name suggests, this supplement works to balance the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In other words, it helps to address hormone imbalances and supports your body to better cope with stress thanks to ingredients such as ashwagandha and l-theanine.

This not only helps to improve the quality of your sleep but also mood swings, energy levels and concentration.

Fibrocane's serenitea can help fibromyalgia sufferers fall asleep more easily

2. Fibrocane Serenitea

Do you have trouble falling asleep? This has been my recent sleep issue. I’d go to bed and find it difficult to quieten my mind. Some nights it would take ages for me to actually fall asleep. That’s why I was excited to try Fibrocane Serenitea* by a US company called Premier Bioceuticals.

Premier Bioceuticals actually do a whole fibromyalgia protocol but– given I already take the Vital Plan Restore Program— I have only personally tried the tea.

Fibrocane Serenitea is a pleasant tasting herbal tea that helps to promote a calm, restful sleep. It is sweetened with stevia and, if I was to be totally honest, I’d actually probably prefer an unsweetened version.

That said it’s easy and comforting to drink. Serenitea contains two sacred varieties of Tulsi and herbs such as ashwagandha that are known for their stress-relieving properties. It is also flavoured with a hint of peppermint and I would say that the peppermint and citrus flavours are the most predominant to me.

You simply add boiling water and let the tea bag steep for around 10 minutes. Drink Serenitea before bedtime and it instantly helps to calm and relax you. I am genuinely loving this product and I have found that it definitely helps me to drift off more easily.

I now track my sleep and I noticed from the first night that the time it took me to fall asleep had pretty much halved. I can’t claim it has improved the quality of my sleep by much; my sleep report shows it has improved my sleep by 4%. However, no product is going to work miracles and having help drifting off to sleep is a huge benefit to me.

I would also add that you can’t expect it to work without addressing sleep hygiene etc. However, overall this is a great product and I believe this tea has complimented the other supplements I take well. I would definitely recommend trying it.

3. SAM-e

SAM-e* (S-adenosylmethionine) is a synthetic replication of a compound your body naturally makes that is important for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and melatonin. It is the most recent addition to my supplement regime and I believe it is what has helped me to stay asleep these past few nights.

Generally, I would wake through the night but since taking SAM-e this seems to have reduced. I’m actually really liking this product and I feel it’s not only helping my sleep but how I feel overall. My mood has been really good and I’ve been in very little pain (of course the Vital Plan Restore program is what I credit to reducing my pain, but I feel the Sam-e has helped a little in addition to that).

I take SAM-e in the morning on an empty stomach. I find it helps to sustain my energy through the day and by night time I feel ready for sleep.

SAM-e* has been used for treating depression but there isn’t a whole lot of scientific evidence supporting its use for treating fibromyalgia. The jury is still out in the scientific world as to whether it is beneficial for fibromyalgia or not. I think this is the main reason I haven’t previously tried it. However, there are lots of fibromyalgia sufferers who swear by it so I decided to give it a go and I’m so glad I did.

Before trying this supplement, do your research. Here are a couple of tips I learned: make sure you take it on an empty stomach at least an hour before eating, if not longer. Also look for tablets in blister packs that have an enteric coating; without this coating, the tablets are absorbed in the stomach and this can cause painful stomach cramps.

I discovered that the hard way. Even with the enteric coating, I can get a slight stomach ache as a side effect but I am tolerating it because of the benefits I feel SAM-e gives me. So just keep in mind that like medications, this supplement can have side effects.

These supplements are working well to improve the quality of my sleep and I hope this information has been helpful to you. Sleep is not easy to improve but it is possible. It’s worth experimenting and trying different things to see if they help; patient persistence will hopefully pay off and you will feel so much better for it. Good luck!

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* I received Fibrocane Serenitea for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased feedback. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Author

Hello, I'm Donna. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2013 and started this blog shortly after. After my health declined significantly the following year, I decided to become my own advocate and searched for answers. It took two years but, in 2016, I finally discovered I had Lyme Disease. On February Stars, I share my personal journey back to better health; discussing what has helped me and the mistakes I've made along the way. I also cover topics on self-improvement, managing symptoms and living life to the fullest with chronic illness.

8 Comments

  1. I’m always looking for other ideas to help me sleep, as getting and staying asleep is my #1 battle. Thanks for the tips!

    • I agree that it is a really difficult one but so worth doing. So keep at it and keep experimenting. I hope this post helps and that you finally find the right things that work for you. Good luck!

  2. Mary Antoinette Reply

    I have several auto-immune diseases so sleeping is definitely a problem for me. I will look into these 3 supplements when I get my next SSDI check. Thank you for the tip!

    • Thank you Mary. I can’t promise they will always help others but wanted to share what is helping me 🙂 Good luck!

  3. Justine Warhurst Reply

    Is it possible to buy HPA Balance in the UK? If not…where do you buy it? Many thanks

    • Hi Justine, HPA balance is made by an American company called Vital Plan. You can purchase it directly from their website. I live in Scotland and have been using Vital Plan products since Jan 2015, would highly recommend them.

  4. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this blog!
    I have a suggestion: If you suffer from insomnia or unrefreshing sleep, request polysomnography.. I was NOT in a high-risk category, other than being over 50; however, my new neurologist (treating my epilepsy) found out that I have fibromyalgia, and she recommended I be tested. I was shocked to find that I have severe obstructive sleep apnea. Currently, I’m healing from nasal surgery to correct a deviated septum and reduce swelling, both of which may have been contributing causes. I’ve also been prescribed a BiPAP machine–still adjusting, but hopeful!

    • Thank you Brenda. I think that’s very sensible advice! I am sure there will be many others who are unknowingly suffering from this. I hope your BiPAP machine really helps you.

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