unable to sleep lying down


Hi, I'm new to this forum, I live with Arthritis and Fibromyalgia (diagnosed 2013 but long-time sufferer before this) and take a cocktail of meds to help with sleep and pain like most of us, naproxen has been stopped by my GP though as they feel they cause more damage compared to any benefit they may provide. My big concern atm is I am now also suffering with lymphedema in both feet/ankles and this is not helped by my sleeping on my settee in a sitting up position. My bed is a very comfortable bed, mattress is new and daughter has recently bought me a lovely topper as she assumed my bed must be uncomfortable and that is why i don't sleep in it - however this isn't the case and i was just wondering if anyone else suffers this way also? When and If i do sleep in my bed, i always awake two maybe three hours in with acute pain in my upper torso, so much that i am unable to turn or get up. I have to really strain to roll myself to the edge of the bed and I am unable to straighten my back, the pain in my ribs both front and back is immense and my stomach muscles feel like i have caused myself a serious strain. It is very difficult to get myself down the stairs and the pain, which renders me immobile in a standing position when i get downstairs as i cannot take the risk of sitting down as a change of position will cause me more intense pain. It can take more than two hours before i am able to move a bit, this is even after i have taken morning meds. Does anyone else suffer like this? If you do, how do you manage the pain? I want to be able to sleep in my bed, lying down even on the settee would be nice - i'm open to trying anything that other pain warriors are able to suggest - Thankyou and I look forward to reading and becoming an active member of this community.


  • Brynmor
    Brynmor Member Posts: 1,755

    Hi @magsbradley93 welcome to the Online Community, good to see you here.

    The trouble you have sleeping in bed is proving hugely difficult due to the acute pain caused. It also sounds as though getting moving again is enormously difficult. A quick question: what has your doctor/rheumatologist have to say about this? Having had your GP stop your naproxen, have they suggested anything to help you with a less painful sleep?

    I look forward to reading member replies to your question. Having stiffness problems each morning getting out of bed, I'm interested to see what suggestions there are.

    Do join in across the Community, ask questions and call in for a chat to let us know how you are getting on.

    All best wishes


  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 549


    you might find my reply on "cant sleep due to shoulder pain" thread helpful. the only way i can get out of bed is to roll over slowly and use elbow to get myself up into a sitting position. When ready i stand and support myself on bedside table then steady movements from there on. Doesnt matter how it takes to move just move at your own pace. stairs i take one step at a time and lean against banister or on bum. Stay safe

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520

    Have you tried sleeping sitting up in bed? You can prop yourself in a nest of pillows and maybe also have one under your knees. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Crookesey
    Crookesey Bots Posts: 119

    If I don’t attempt to sleep in any position other than on my back as I risk horrendous calf cramps, I know exactly when they are about to appear and know, through experience, how to position mu legs to avoid n attack.

  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,656

    Apologies magsbradley93 for hijacking your thread.

    I just want to welcome Crookesey to the Versus Arthritis Online Community.

    I am attaching a link to information about sleep which is worth a read:

    I look forward to seeing your posts in future.


  • magsbradley93

    Thankyou all for your recommendations, Brynmor - my I am also prescribed with Amitriptyline 50mg to help aid sleep, Gabapentin 1800mg for nerve ending pain and numbness in arms, 50mg zormorth for pain associated with Fibromyalgia and Paracetamol which helps activate the above meds more effectively. I found the Naproxen quite helpful as it relaxed my muscles a bit more, but i was still having the problem when sleeping in the bed but maybe not every night.

    My Rhumatologist has not seen me again since his diagnoses - when my GP is unable to manage my meds they refer me to Pain Clinic.

    Trish 5596 and DreamDaisy, Thank You both for your comments and advice - I have tried sitting up in bed but for some reason i always gravitate to lying down position whilst i'm sleeping. I have had to roll myself of the bed very slowly and sometimes i've needed to ask for help to roll me over even as the pain is so excruciating that i can't take a breath.

    Crookesy, that sounds awful. I suffer with restless legs, but no extreme cramps - i'm glad you are able to position yourself in such a way so that these can be avoided. Do you ever roll onto your side or tummy when sleeping?

    Ellen, I'm going to take a look at the link you have shared. I know the lack of restorative sleep makes symptoms of Arthritis worse, as do they for my Fibromyalgia also - the Amitriptyline i take usually takes two/three hours to work and then i sleep for 2 1/2 hours, after that i just teeter on the verge of sleep willing it to come. I'll feedback after i have read the link shared.

    Thankyou Vikki and Thank You all for the lovely welcome, it's helpful just knowing i'm not on my own in my battle - I'm glad i've found you:)

  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 504

    have you tried a lift & recline chair , some of these can get into the shape of a hospital bed , you need to get your legs up or will have problems with ulcers/circulation , its not ideal but a duel motor ones can adjust the shape , the other option is talk to your GP & get refered to a OT & maybe a hospital bed

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I have just had less than 2 hours kip and am now sat in my recliner, normally I get about 3 hours in bed but this has lessened recently. I cannot stand or sit upright either and tend to position myself either at 45 degrees backwards in a chair (I am in my recliner now) or forwards when on crutches as this relieves some of the pain in my spine, I also have an adjustable electric wheelchair. I have an electrically adjustable bed which does not make much difference but what does help me get in and out is having "monkey bars" which I can cling onto plus my bed is raised on blocks so that the top of the mattress is level with my bum which helps getting in and out. My GP will not give me anything to help me sleep and said that as I cannot work it does't matter if I nod off during the day, which is what I frequently do for spells of 20 minutes or so, I even missed the delivery of my meds yesterday and now the surgery has to try to deliver again today. Sometimes I take extra Morphine to try to help me sleep as it is the extreme pain which wakes me up when I do manage to nod off. May I suggest that you contact Adult Social Care at your Council and ask for an Occupational Therapist visit, they will assess what you can and cannot do and suggest ways of making life easier, they may even be able to provide you with equipment like they did me.

  • Crookesey
    Crookesey Bots Posts: 119


    Having spent the last 5 years sleeping on my back it has become my natural sleeping position, however as I suffer from dehydration at night turning and reaching for my glass of water often brings on an attack of leg cramps. This also started to occur when entering/exiting my car, I’ve sorted this by driving SUV’s that I can slide in and out of.