Sleep and Counting Sheep

What are the two most common symptoms of just about any chronic disease under the sun? Pain and fatigue. Sometimes pain interferes with my sleep, leading to even more fatigue. It’s a never-ending cycle. I jumped on the opportunity to try this product from ProHealth called FibroSleep, because let’s face it – even the best bubble baths, candles, teas and essential oils can’t fix everything every time. Specifically, I was given this product as part of a product review opportunity through the Chronic Illness Network. This item was a gift and I have been encouraged to give an honest opinion and review without any influence by the company. If you have read anything else I’ve written, you know I don’t hold back.

One of the problems that I run into with my additional strange, undiagnosed rare disease is that because of the increased pressure in my cranium, I get anxiety. Sometimes it feels like it comes out of nowhere. Sometimes I can blame it on specific events – like doctors who tell me that I am imagining my symptoms, or that my cluster of symptoms are actually unrelated to each other (even though the majority occur in my brain), or that there’s nothing that can be done and to never come back, etc. About every ten days I will have an entire night pass where my anxiety simply rules my entire body and I cannot fall asleep.

I received this product just in time for a particularly bad run of insomnia thanks to some discouraging appointments:
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I always, always check labels to see what’s going to be invading my body, so here’s the ingredients:
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This particular beef has come up for me before with me and labeling, but I would like to point out that if you have a camera on your phone that has a high pixel setting and can adequately blow up a picture so that you can read tiny writing, you may not see this as a problem. However, if you don’t, and you don’t carry a magnifying glass, you will not be able to read this label and figure out the ingredients. I’ve been told before that it’s a space issue – they simply don’t have enough – but here’s some blank space that’s not being used:
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The size of the capsules are pretty standard:
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I tried the capsules for three nights in a row and nearly gave up completely. I have had previous experience with 5-HTP and melatonin (both included in this product) and figured that it would be a slam-dunk, but anxiety that was prompted by doctors with big egos and closed minds completely overruled any compounds I was consuming, so I got zero sleep. I didn’t even get a weird, loopy feeling that I sometimes get with those two ingredients the morning after.

Which brings me to an important point: with both 5-HTP and melatonin, you will give yourself the best chance at getting good sleep if you cut out ALL light because light messes with your REM patterns. Look around your sleeping area and address all sources of light, including your phone, your laptop/tablet, your router/modem and your TV. Okay, so I just named off everything in my sleeping area – because it’s my bedroom and also my living room since I have a studio apartment. Even my sun therapy lamp has a bright red light that glows when I turn off my room light at night that would otherwise mess with my sleep if I didn’t somehow cover it up (I used black electrical tape).

I put FibroSleep in a drawer for a week and a half and resigned myself to terrible nights (and days) while I struggled with the politics of navigating the good ol’ boys’ club of male doctors. When I felt like I had put enough space between them and me, I tried again. Boy, did I sleep – like a rock. I did have some funky dreams because apparently my brain had a lot to work out. Also, each night I took the FibroSleep I dreamed that I was physically going through the motions of going to the bathroom, which I have learned over the years that that is my own personal signal to wake up pronto because my bladder is full and no joke, IT’S TIME TO GO. It conked me out so fast that I forgot to use the facilities before falling asleep. Most of the times I woke up to use the bathroom I also could not fall back asleep, so I only clocked about 4-5 hours of sleep total. On those nights I was loopy. This is definitely not the fault of FibroSleep. I have always had a hard time falling asleep after waking up to do things like running to the bathroom, so I broke the cardinal rule of not interrupting the sleep so that I could reap the benefits fully. I have always envied those people who can easily go right back to where they left off.

I have had fibromyalgia for about 18 years, and sleep is always a big challenge. Even if you don’t have fibromyalgia but you are like about 70% of the adult population at any given time and you are going through an especially extended and rough patch of chronic insomnia, FibroSleep may be worth checking out. Currently (May 2016) they are offering a 20% discount on FibroSleep orders here:

Also, if you are interested, they are giving you the opportunity to enter in a chance to win on their giveaway:

Lastly, ProHealth offers a number of products. They actually have done something quite handy with their site and divided it up by conditions and topics, so you can read articles and shop for products specific to your condition: