Sleep disturbances are among the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia, a chronic condition affecting the spinal cord and brain that causes people to feel pain and fatigue, and affects concentration. In fact, along with the tiredness, pain, and psychosocial distress, sleep disturbances are a core feature.
In the last few years, it has become increasingly clear that treating the associated sleep disturbance improves the daytime symptoms of fibromyalgia.
It is estimated that 2 percent to 10 percent of the population suffers from fibromyalgia. Three quarters of those with fibromyalgia have sleep complaints. The most common is a feeling of non-refreshing or non-restorative sleep.Â Insomnia, characterized by an inability to either fall asleep or stay asleep, is very common in fibromyalgia. Treating the insomnia with cognitive behavioral therapyand good sleep hygiene has been shown to improve symptoms of fibromyalgia.
People with fibromyalgia show less deep sleep, increased lighter stages of sleep, and more frequent arousals during the night than do others. Many of the newer medications approved for use in fibromyalgia such as pregabalin (Lyrica) work in part by increasing deep sleep.Â In several studies of normal sleepers, disrupting deep sleep nightly for 7 to 14 days with either noise or awakenings resulted in symptoms indistinguishable from patients with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a painful, chronic condition which affects the overall function of the nerves. Along with pain and fatigue, two of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia, the condition can also cause sleep disturbances. Among the various known statistics of the condition, treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia can help a person gain back their sleep. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.
The information herein on "Is Fibromyalgia to Blame for Your Sleep Problems?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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