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fatigue and sleep

been back at uni for about 3 weeks and struggling to cope with a sudden onset of crippling fatigue. too tired to do anything productive yet can not sleep for more than a few hours at a time without waking up. things weren't too bad through the summer and it's really getting me down. really need to be feeling better than this to face my final year! anyone got any good tips?

7 Replies

Have you tried Amitriptyline yet? You have to take it quite early - at least 3 hours before you go to bed - and it does give some people a bit of a dozy feeling or even a slight hangover the next day but I've been really busy for the past week so I just couldn't afford to be up in the night as usual and I've resorted to it again. It helps with neuralgia and takes away some of the aches and pains and the frequent need to pee I find and it's non addictive. Maybe worth a try. On this week's Food Hospital they recommended kiwi fruit last thing at night for people suffering from insomnia. Tilda x


PS Amitriptyline is a prescription only drug so ask your GP.


Go see the disabled students support person at your university and let them know your diagnosis and what problems you are having. They have a huge range of ways they can help make it easier for you to keep going with your studies. I've heard of folk getting date extensions on assignments, getting lecture notes recorded for them, having additional tutorials to catch up on stuff missed, getting ergonomic chairs or other equipment, assistance to get between lectures - all sorts of stuff, but you have to let them know you are having problems first. Don't leave it until you are so far behind you can't catch up.

Another thought is whether you are dealing with pain well enough. i know I end up really fatigued when I am in constant pain. It was a big step for me, but increasing my pain meds and taking them far more regularly rather than just trying to suck it up and ride through it without drugs has improved my energy no end.


I just wanted to back up the earlier suggestions. I was back at the hospital yesterday and I told them of my chronic fatigue. They recommended amitriptyline too. They did warn me thatIn days gone by it wad used as antidepressant, but then explained how it is now used as a painkiller that can help restore deep sleep that revives the body.

I'm off to GPS for prescription. If it works I might b able to get on with my life a bit.

Good luck at uni.

Hope the advice helps



Amitrytyline is a good drug for making you feel drowsy and sleep at night. Problem is, after taking it the night before, I still feel drowsy for 1-2 days after! Consequently, I don't take it when I know I need to drive the next day. Still, its good to know there's something out there to knock me out when I can't sleep. My MS friend has been prescribed it too. Was sceptical when GP first prescribed because of the "anti-depressant stigma", but she explained its used for muscular and other problems nowadays too. Good luck!


thanks for the advice folks. will ask about amitrytyline when i go for my appt with the rheumatologist soon as it takes so long to get a GP appt. things don't seem quite as horrible this morning so going to try and get some work done!


Hi Lona

Thought you might find this useful. It's a link to the ARUK leaflet on amitriptyline:

Kind regards


(NRAS Helpline)


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