Fibromyalgia and Sleep

How can fibromyalgia affect my sleep?

A Answers (2)

  • ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered

    Sleep disturbance has been and continues to be studied as a primary problem to fibromyalgia. Prevalent is insomnia, lack of or minimal evidence of the healing stages of sleep, which also causes us to feel non-rested when 8 hours has been achieved and periodic limb movement, the cohort of restless leg syndrome. It could be the cause or the effect.

    Usual sleep hygiene practices may only help minimally with fibro associated sleep disturbance, and this could be due to the nature of fibromyalgia and a dysfunctional hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. 

    The first step for treating sleep disturbance is to know what type of disturbance it is, which can only be evaluated in a sleep lab. Talk with your physician about getting a sleep study. They will look for sleep apnea, in addition to the other causes noted. Treatment will depend upon the root cause.

    Also see:
    Sleep oh sleep, where art thou? Could your fibromyalgia medications be causing insomnia?

    Snooze News - The conundrum of sleep deprivation

    All blogs, posts and answers are based on the work in Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Celeste Cooper, RN, and Jeff Miller, PhD. 2010, Vermont: Healing Arts press and are not meant to replace medical advice.

    Author of Chapter Five, Living with and Coping Effectively Through Fibromyalgia: Detecting Barriers, Understanding the Clues, in Fibromyalgia Insider Secrets: 10 Top Experts, 2nd Ed. Ebook complied by Deirdre Rawlings, ND, PhD

  • Most people with fibromyalgia (FM) have an associated sleep disorder that prevents them from achieving deep, restful, restorative sleep. Medical researchers have documented specific and distinctive abnormalities in the Stage 4 deep sleep of people with fibromyalgia. During sleep, individuals with FM are constantly interrupted by bursts of awake-like brain activity, limiting the amount of time they spend in deep sleep.
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