Fibromyalgia has some pretty distinctive sleep disturbances associated with it not to mention comorbid sleep issues. It is one of the key factors in the syndrome… our inability to attain refreshing sleep. I wrote a post about it here. So it interests me that they have done some recent research in this area. One of the important things about our sleep dysfunction is that since it isn’t presenting like regular insomnia the treatment likewise has to be different. Lack of sleep, as we are all aware, can cause a lot of symptoms.
So the recent Canadian study in Ontario took a look at 132 subjects (109 insomniacs and 52 without any sleep difficulties). During the two night analysis their sleep was recorded by polysomnography; electrodes placed on the face and scalp of the subjects enabled the researchers to look at sleep latency, the stages of sleep, sleep cycles and duration of sleep.
With fibromyalgia and insomnia subjects have issues falling asleep, compared to controls and they have fragmented sleep. They have frequent night wakings. Here is specifically what they found with the differences between Primary insomnia and FM insomnia.
- FM subjects had decreased total sleep time
- They had slow-wave sleep
- They had increased latency to persistent sleep
- And wake time after sleep onset.
- Both FM and insomniacs had short sleep durations compared to controls
Conclusions: Increased frequency of wake and sleep tips and wake Decreased end duration, together with LPS and Increased Decreased SWS, Suggests That Sleep in FM is characterized by year Inability to Maintain continuous sleep goal Greater sleep drive Compared with PI. Clinical Journal of Pain
The ideal goal then is not only getting us To sleep but to maintain continuous sleep.
There is research to suggest that the issue lies in difficulties with deep sleep interference.
” Alpha-delta sleep is the abnormal intrusion of alpha activity (8- to 13-Hz oscillations) into the delta activity (1- to 4-Hz oscillations) That olefins slow-wave sleep. Alpha-delta sleep is Especially prevalent in fibromyalgia patients, and there is evidence Suggesting que la Irregularities in the sleep of These patients May because the muscle tissue and bread That characterizes the disorder.We constructed a biophysically realistic mathematical model of alpha-delta sleep.Imaging studies in fibromyalgia patients Suggesting altered levels of activity in the thalamus has motivated thalamic model as the source of alpha activity.”jn.physiology.org
It should be noted that previous studies have also shown we have had issues with Delta deep sleep, leading to unrefreshing sleep no matter how much we get. Causing other issues as well. Although it is interesting to note they point to the thalamus as the alpha intrusion into our deep sleep.
Now, I hardly needed a study to tell me I have difficulty falling asleep and maintaining it. It has been a long term issue of mine since I was quite young. Not to mention pain being a factor as well. The main thing is that by researching it there can be new targets for medication. I had heard they researched a sleeping pill for people with FM. I have not heard anything since then, so maybe nothing came of it… but it was designed to keep us asleep. Maybe that is still on the go. Either way it is interesting to know primary insomnia is not quite the same as Fibromyalgia related insomnia.