Fibromyalgia - A Sleep Disorder? PTSD, Hypervigilance, and Rape.

by - 9:04 AM

Fibromylagia - Sleep Disorder

Studies have come out linking Fibromyalgia to limitation of inspiratory airflow during sleep. I have long wondered if Fibromyalgia is a sleep disorder, but my personal results do not match the findings of some studies.

My sleep study showed that I don't go into the deep stages of sleep, which not only causes general fatigue, but does not allow my muscles to properly recover. However, I did not show any signs of sleep apnea.

At first we thought my sleep disorder was physical in nature, which would mean possible growth hormone injections (very costly), but a specialist finally pinpointed the probable cause of my sleep disorder.

It is called Hypervigilance Sleep Disorder. Many people with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), such as soldiers, suffer from it. While I have never served in the military, I was stranger raped while out walking, as a teen, in what was considered a small, safe town. It traumatized me so strongly, that I attempted suicide, because I could not get past it.

Real Men Don't Rape! Only Animals Rape!
Eight years and one day later I went through another rape by somebody I trusted and who claimed to love me. That pushed me over the edge and again made me feel suicidal (though that time I did not carry through on my thoughts, because I had children who didn't deserve to suffer that loss). I have never felt safe to be alone with that person again and it destroyed any potential future. Those two rapes destroyed a huge part of me. I was a mess in my head for years after that. I wanted desperately to numb the pain, but I never did turn to drugs or alcohol, instead I forced myself to deal with the reality. I felt incapable of being truly loved and settled for a person who violently abused me.

When I healed my thinking over those two rapes, and the violent abuse thereafter, I thought the PTSD was over. I mean I don't have anxiety or panic-attacks, etc. So until this specialist came along, I never knew why I was so fatigued. My entire family can tell you they can't usually tip toe in a room where I am sleeping without startling me awake. They symptom of hyper-vigilance remained from my former PTSD. 

The specialist and I came up with a plan (not involving prescription drugs, as I don't want that in my life) which now helps me sleep much better. Sleeping better equals less pain. I had already figured out which food and supplements hurt or help my fibromyalgia through research, trial and error. 

(If anybody reading this has been through rape, please know that life can get much better in time. You are welcome to write me! xoxoxox)

But I digress, back to the study by sleep researchers, Avram R. Gold, M.D., at SUNY Stony Brook in New York, and Joan Broderick, Ph.D.

With six million Americans suffering from Fibromyalgia, this means 2% of our population. In my opinion, it's become epidemic. Something is triggering it. I still have my theories on food and toxins, but sleep could very well play into the big picture.

Out of the twenty-eight female participants with fibromyalgia of this sleep study, all but one showed limited inspiratory airflow. Twenty-six of them resulted in UARS (Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome), which is a mild form of sleep apnea. One of them actually had sleep apnea. Those treated for their sleep disorders did seem to show improvement.

But do sleep disorders cause Fibromalgia or vice versa? The jury is still out, but the research is pouring in. To learn more on this issue, please read:

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