Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fibromyalgia and Night Terrors: Are They Connected

A lot of people, me included, have experienced night terrors and vivid dreams that seem to be connected to fibromyalgia. There are many explanations of night terrors. Medications, stress, fears, or anxiety are some of the things that can cause a flare up. Those very things seem to cause night terrors as well. I have dreamed many times of situations that cause me pain only to wake up in the middle of a flare. For instance I might dream something is happening to my hands and wake up with extreme pain in my hands. I find this disturbing. In the past I was having problems with night terrors and mentioned it to my doctor. He went through all of my medications and changed some. I have heard other women talk about their doctor doing this too. One of them said it was her ‘brain chemistry’ medication but another friend said it was her cholesterol medication. The friend with the cholesterol medication doctor had her cut back over three weeks and then titrate up slowly. Now she only has occasional night mares. Still another acquaintance said it was because of an over the counter sleep medication. When she stopped taking it the night terrors stopped. One of the concerns over my night terrors was whether I had sleep apnea. Many people who have sleep apnea have night terrors. I also found out from the sleep doctor that a surprising number of people who have fibromyalgia have sleep apnea. I have acquaintances, a mother and daughter, that both have fibromyalgia and sleep apnea. So does fibromyalgia cause night terrors? The answer seems to be yes and no. It also can be caused by medications for fibromyalgia and other medications. Night terrors are also caused by sleep apnea. There are too many people with fibromyalgia who have night terrors for there not to be a correlation between them.

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