I never noticed any benefits from using Lyrica for sleep or pain. Pain is the reason I was taking Lyrica, did not know about sleep, which is a major issue for me also. I recently found out by doing 2 sleep studies that I have Obstructive Sleep Apnea and am now, (Since Nov. 2009) using a CPAP machine, actually more like a variable PAP machine according to my sleep Dr. I also stopped using trazadone, had increased to 100mg and then 150mg but that still only kept me down for 3 to 4 hour blocks during the work week and maybe 7 to 8 hours on weekends, but usually 5 to 6 hours.
I told my sleep Dr that I used to sleep 7 to 8 hours before falling ill and felt well. I am now taking Mirtazapine, started at 15mg and Dr told me to increase by 7.5mg until I got 8 hours of sleep. So I am on 22.5mgs now and that keeps me down for at least 7 to 8 hours and even longer on the weekends, seems like I am sleeping at least 8 to 10 hours and am feeling better! Less pain, fewer headaches and less brain fog, although that seems worse with the headaches and has been better for about 1 year now since starting to see a new Dr.
We all really respond differently to meds, eh?
Lyrica seems to have some nasty side effects for some. I've done a great deal of reseaech on sleep meds. My approach is to try to address deep sleep (slow wave sleep, stage 3, stage 4 - which is now combined into stage 3 if you've had a recent study) and sleep duration. Problems with deep sleep are well documented in fibro but as far as I'm concerned they are valid in CFS too. If you have significant sleep issues, as most if us do, then try to get a sleep study to fix things like apnea if they are present. Now for the dirty little secret. 99% of "sleep" docs are pulminoligists (sp?) who are great at dealing apnea and other 'primary sleep disorders' but not much else. I met one (I've seen over 10) over the last decade whi kbew her sleep medicine and how to tackle deep sleep. She got me on to trazodone and gabapentin 6 years ago.
I just had a new study study. I slept for <4 hours with no deep sleep. So I tried hard to see the dept head but was got a less experienced, uninterested doc who told me that no slow wave sleep was typical for my age - IT'S NOT - and THEN told me that insomnia is not a sleep disorder (believe it or not this IS ture, and slow wave disorders are not either) and gave me a psych referral for CBT.
So while ruling out or treating apnea and things llike restless legs don't expect a miracle from sleep docs, a GP who is willing to try things can be more helpful because it really is a trial and error thing.
Many people have luck with non-prescription solutions like melatonin, valarian and 5-HTP. Warning******** don't mix 5-HTP with antidepresants without speaking with your Dr. and pharmasist and take the most conservative advice you get because just like mixing 2 antidepressants you can get seratonin syndrome which is VERY serious.
Meds that have beed studied and shown to varying degrees to help deep sleep are: trazodone, gabapentin (first generation Lyrica - much cheaper), Lyrica and Xyrem. I take both trazodone AND Lyrica. I STILL get ZERO deep sleep but they knock down the pain and help me sleep 4-6 hours. When I was working and in a constant, overlapping push crash cycle I got maybe 4 hours on the same meds. I was experiencing constant PEM as a result which always hurts my sleep.
Mirtazipine knocks me out at 7.5 mg. Now I took that on top of my other meds. My doc wants me to go to 30 and drop other stuff. He really wants to play with my neurotransmitters, but I'm very sensitive. I had to stop as it left me so hung over that I was dragging all day. I'm going to give this one more try to make my Dr. happy (a very good guy overall) while reducing the trazodone and Lyrica but I don't expect it to solve the hangover problem. I'm very sensitive to every antidepressant out there and always have to stop.
I never meant to write this REALLY long post, but I hope there's some help to somebody here.