Sleep, Mood Disorders and Chronic Fatigue


From 30 to 50 percent of adults experience insomnia or sleep disorders at some point, and an estimated 10 percent have chronic insomnia. The sleeplessness “epidemic” is reflected in the wide range of prescription and non-prescription sleep medicines and TV advertisements for cures.

A lack of sleep can be serious, leading to a lack of concentration, a higher rate of accidents, chronic fatigue and anxiety and mood disorders. Many of those suffering from fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders also suffer from lack of sleep or interrupted sleep.

While many things can cause insomnia – especially temporary bouts – one major cause is fibromyalgia and other chronic painful and debilitating conditions. The discomfort caused by the general pain, soft-tissue burning and tingling and tender pressure points can interrupt or prevent restful sleep. The anxiety, the pain, the overactive central nervous system and adrenaline overproduction make sleep almost impossible.

Also, emotional instability, depression, irritability and nervousness can be quite problematic. These symptoms affect the very core of our being and destroy joy and enthusiasm. Life becomes miserable for the sufferer as well as for those around him or her. Anxiety is often one of the most severe problems associated with conditions caused by meningeal compression. Anxiety can be brought on by the sympathetic nervous system firing continuously and can push a person to push on through exhaustion and pain. However, anxiety also prevents sleep and rest, so it can create a degenerative cycle. Panic attacks – extreme and often unexpected physical (for example, hyperventilation or a racing heart rate) and emotional (for example, hysteria or irrationality) expressions of the body’s inherent “fight or flight” response mechanisms — are common. When anxiety disappears, patients often become very tired and are able to experience restorative sleep, which can lead to marked improvement.

Meningeal compression could be the culprit for all of these maladies. If the meninges (the protective covering of the brain and spinal cord) is impinged or twisted by an accident, trauma or even stress, the resulting conditions and symptoms may include those diagnosed as fibromyalgia, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), irritable bowel syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, dystonia, restless leg syndrome, depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety and many more.

The pulling and irritation of these nerve roots may cause nerve fibers to fire irregular impulses to the brain. These fired impulses are interpreted as pain, itching, burning, coldness, numbness or other odd feelings. The body, in response to stimuli from irritation, will often twitch or spasm, sparking restless leg syndrome, muscle tightness, and spasms often experienced by fibromyalgia patients. All of these factors obviously can be disruptive to proper sleep and emotional stability and well-being.

A free relief test often brings immediate relief to patients, and indicates whether long-term meningeal decompression therapy will be of benefit to them.