I have talked about fibromaygia and sleep before.
Now we have another study looking at our quality of sleep and sleep dysfunction in fibromyalgia. It is one of the hallmark symptoms of the syndrome. This study unsurprisingly states we have difficulty falling asleep and worse quality sleep compared to control groups of healthy individuals. Surprise! Not really. Sort of knew this from my actual sleep.
The study Sleep Disturbances In Fibromyalgia: A Meta-Analysis Of Case-Control Studies was a meta-analysis of previous studies. I rather like these because they are reviewing a lot of combined data. In this case 25 studies with 2,086 subjects in total.
Studies evaluating sleep with polysomnography reported significant differences between fibromyalgia patients and healthy individuals concerning wake time after sleep onset, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency, among other parameters.
Studies assessing sleep with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index reported significant differences in global scores, sleep onset latency, and sleep efficiency between the two groups of participants. Fibromyalgia News today
Again we get the notion we wake up ‘unrefreshed’, which we do, no matter how much sleep we get feels like we got none at all. With this study this may be because of our difficulty falling asleep, the poor quality of that sleep (long suggested), the lighter sleep (I would also say frequent sleep wakings) and shorter sleep duration.
“Clinical trials have shown that improving sleep quality can reduce pain in individuals with fibromyalgia,” the researchers wrote. “Therefore, primary care providers should be informed by the findings of the present study and proactively assess the risk of sleep disturbance in patients complaining of chronic widespread pain or consider the diagnosis of fibromyalgia in these patients. Clinicians should also actively treat sleep disturbances when poor sleep is identified in individuals with fibromyalgia.”Fibromyalgia News today
This is important– actively treating the sleep dysfunction. The consequences of not doing so are plenty. Sleep deprivation is not fun. One example that happened to me is I started getting regular sleep paralysis events the more sleep deprived I got. I had suspected partial seizure events as well. And my migraines in the morning were brutal due to lack of sleep. When the sleep issues were treated, even moderately, morning migraines diminished (migraines start a few hours after waking most of the time) and the other events ceased. I do occasionally get sleep paralysis still, when I have a few days of really poor sleep. This isn’t even counting pain from lack of sleep or cognitive dysfunction purely from lack of sleep.