Unable to sleep: Hello friends. Poor sleep quality... - PMRGCAuk


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Unable to sleep


Hello friends.

Poor sleep quality is getting to me. I go to bed tired but am unable to get off to sleep for hours...Last night I only had about one hour. The quality of sleep is also not the same. It's a very superficial sort of sleep, unsatisfying and restless. I take 13 mg of pred in the morning and drink no caffeine at all.

Should I ask for sleeping tablets for the first time in my life? I am conscious that we heal when we sleep and I am finding the nights hard work! I need to be on top form for the start of term next week!

7 Replies
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer


Many people halve sleeping prolems but it’s usually at higher doses and at the start of Pred, which makes yours slightly unusual. Do you have anything else going on that might cause it?

I took an OTC tablet - Nytol - about every 3rd night to enable a good sleep but not enough to get addicted. Fortunately my sleep patterns soon reverted to normal.

Think it would be good reason to speak to GP, a short course may get you back into a good sleeping rhythm.

I think this is a common side effect of pred. I found at 15 to 12mg sleep was very poor. It's a bit better now at 11mg but quite often wake with no chance of getting back to sleep, any time between 1am and 4.30. I get up when this happens and usually stay awake, tho sometimes doze on sofa. About once a week I have a good night.

I have learnt to sleep during the day when I need to ( luckily retired ) and my husband has become accustomed now.


It is very common - some people just give up worrying about it and catch up somewhere else but that isn't helpful when you work! Nytol has helped several - but not all work for some people so you may have to try a few.

Perhaps a "proper" sleeping pill every few nights might help to break the pattern - because insomnia can be a learned problem when it goes on for long.

Pred itself has never been much of a problem for sleeping for me - but pre-pred PMR kept me awake a lot and it happens too when I flare.

I just had a nap in the afternoon and still do, even at 4.5mg. On the higher doses when sleep was really bad, I napped late morning too. Pred was like a sleeping tablet for me, so I’d get off to sleep beautifully, but many hours later it made me restless and wake very early.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to SnazzyD

A few people have said that - interesting isn't it.

Hi AliDej

I couldn't sleep for more than two hours and was near Euphoria, I just accepted it as par for the course, was up all night cleaning the bathrooms, they were my 'favourite'!! I never asked for help but my Rheumie could see something was wrong and prescribed Amitriptiyline 10mg and it worked, was able to come off it, with no side effects, once I reached 4mg. ATB.

I found that 10 mgs of Amitriptylin taken one hour before bed, made me comfortable enough to sleep. I have noticed that my sleep patterns change with the progression of this illness and it’s treatment.

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