Recently, a Twitter follower asked me what she could do about deteriorating quality and quantity of sleep, and advised she is taking the medication pregabalin, also known as Lyrica.
Bad sleep is a hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia, but it can also be caused by many other conditions. Because fibromyalgia results in so many symptoms, it is important that people living with it do NOT assume that new symptoms are fibro-related. Poor sleep should be assessed as a potentially independent condition, and a sleep study may be warranted to identify the various things interfering with restful sleep.
Pregabalin (Lyrica) is a medication prescribed for fibromyalgia with a long list of things with which it interacts (See page on drugs.com at Pregabalin Drug Interactions – Drugs.com). People who are taking pregabalin should be very cautious about consuming over-the-counter medications or natural (herbal) remedies, and should not do so without advice of a doctor or pharmacist.
Fortunately, there are a number of things one can do to improve sleep that won’t put you at risk for a potential drug interaction. You’ll find many of them listed here: Healthy Sleep but I’d also like to add this suggestion: People with fibromyalgia are often sensitive to the relative concentrations of macro nutrients (especially carbohydrates and proteins) in their diets.
Many feel more alert and have less brain fog when they eat smaller amounts of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, this can contribute to a “wired” state at night. If this is the case for you, try increasing the ratio of carbohydrates to protein in your evening meal. For example, have pasta without meat or a vegetable stir fry with rice. One of my favourite sleep inducers is oatmeal. The dietary change of more carbs late in the day, on its own, may be enough to make the difference.
This post originally appeared in Quora.