Fibromyalgia and Sleep Disorders: What You Need to Know

Fibromyalgia and Sleep Disorders: What You Need to Know


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source:

  • Date: 27 Feb,2024

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that is characterized by general pain in muscles, fatigue, sleep disturbances, problems with memory and mood disorders. It is called as such because it comprises of various symptoms rather than one specific cause. Fibromyalgia and sleep disturbances are tied together; one can affect the other.

This discussion will expound this link:

Interrelatedness: Fibromyalgia and Sleep Disruption.

  1. Sleeplessness: Those suffering from Fibromyalgia experience difficulties getting or staying asleep, or else unsatisfactory sleep.
  2. Sleep interruptions are also common in many people with fibromyalgia and this leads to fragmented sleep for them.
  3. Patients with fibromyalgia demonstrate a higher prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing such as obstructive sleep apnea compared to general population.
  4. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): In addition, some Fibromyalgia patients may be affected by RLS which can disrupt their sleep.

The Impact of Poor Sleep on Fibromyalgia Manifestations:

Often times, individuals who have Fibromyalgia experience intensified pain symptoms when they do not get sufficient rest at night.

  1. Fatigue: Chronic fatigue is caused by sleep disorder which makes it worse during the day.
  2. Cognitive Dysfunction: Poor or inadequate quality sleep will exacerbate cognitive symptoms like memory loss, lack of concentration etc…
  3. Mood Disorders: The correlation between disturbances in sleeping and being depressed and anxiousness leads to comorbidities associated with fibromyalgia

Potential Causes of Sleep Disturbances in Fibromyalgia:

  1. Abnormal Pain Processing: Central sensitization, which constitutes increased nerve system reactivity to painful stimuli can disrupt normal sleeping patterns.
  2. Neuroendocrine Abnormalities : Alterations in neurotransmitters and hormones implicated in wake-sleep cycles e.g., cortisol serotonin dopamine abnormalities as contributors of disordered neuro endocrine regulation may be involved.
  3. Sleep Architecture Alteration: People diagnosed with Fibro usually display abnormalities occurring during the regular sleep cycle including reduced deep-sleep (slow wave sleep) and increased light sleep (stage 1 and stage 2 sleep).
  4. Psychological Factors: These include stress, anxiety and depression which usually accompany fibromyalgia, but can also affect the quality of sleep.

Management Strategies:

  1. Sleep Hygiene: Establishing a regular bedtime routine, creating an optimal sleeping environment, and using relaxation techniques before bed time assist in improving quality of sleep.
  2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I): Highly effective treatment modality for insomnia management as well as improvement of sleep pattern among fibromyalgia sufferers is CBT-I.
  3. Medications: Depending on individual needs and symptoms, healthcare providers may prescribe medications such as hypnotics or muscle relaxants to alleviate these symptoms or treatment specific drugs for certain types of sleeping disorders like RLS or OSA.
  4. Addressing Fibromyalgia Symptoms: Successful pain control along with other fibro related problems will improve the quality of someone’s sleep indirectly.

Holistic Approach:

  1. Comprehensive Treatment: A multidisciplinary approach is necessary that deals with both fibromyalgia symptoms and disturbed sleeping to achieve better results for patients.
  2. Regular Monitoring : Therefore regular assessment of sleeping patterns alongside the symptoms presented by a person suffering from fibro can help improve timely adjustments to therapy plans if required.
  3. Patient Education: Explaining to patients about relationships between Fibromyalgia and any kind of sleeping disorder would enable them engage actively in their own care and self-management strategies

By addressing sleep disturbances alongside fibromyalgia symptoms, healthcare providers can improve overall quality of life and functioning for individuals living with this chronic condition.

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