Originally posted in National Pain Report on August 24, 2015
Talk to a person who suffers from fibromyalgia and it doesn’t take long for the topic of sleep to come up.
“I’ve had major issues with sleeping,” said Jenny Schwarz who is from East Helena, Montana. “I have heard that a full night’s rest would greatly reduce my pain, but I don’t remember the last time I slept through the night.”
Is melatonin a possible answer?
Natural levels of melatonin in the blood are highest at night. According to the Mayo Clinic, Some research suggests that melatonin supplements taken at the right time might be helpful in treating jet lag or other sleep disorders that involve poor alignment of your natural biological clock with the night-day pattern around you. Melatonin might also reduce the time it takes to fall asleep — although this effect is typically mild
Now there’s world that several studies have shown that melatonin supplements can reduce pain in patients who have fibromyalgia. Melatonin is usually used to improve sleep problems such as insomnia.
A study from Brazil, published in the journal BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology, reveals that melatonin reduced pain in fibromyalgia patients. The study included 63 women who were divided into three groups and took medications at night for six weeks. One group received 10 mg of melatonin, the second group received 25 mg of amitriptyline, and the third group received a combination of 25 mg of amitriptyline and 10 mg of melatonin. Amitriptyline is an antidepressant that is often prescribed for fibromyalgia patients. The results of the study showed that the patients who took melatonin reported lower pain levels.
It is important to note that the patients in the study used melatonin every day and did not skip dosages. In addition, they took 10 mg of melatonin, and some supplements on the market today have smaller amounts. Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally made by the human body and helps regulate sleep. Sleep problems are a common complaint among fibromyalgia patients, so it is not surprising that some have found relief with a supplement. In addition, researchers believe that melatonin helps because it can act as a free radical scavenger.
As you probably know, fibromyalgia is much more common in women. Up to 90% of the 7 million Americans who suffer from fibromyalgia are women. Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue (feeling tired). People with fibromyalgia have pain and tenderness throughout the body.
Have you discussed the use of melatonin with your doctor? What does he or she say?