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Sleep disorders are a primary symptom of fibromyalgia. Do you have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep? Do you wake up day after day feeling exhausted with no energy? Do you have difficulty concentrating? Most of us, with fibromyalgia, have trouble sleeping. The lack of quality sleep leads to more pain, fatigue, brain fog and anxiety. The increased pain and anxiety make sleeping more difficult. It is a vicious cycle.
Almost 100% of fibromyalgia sufferers had problems with their sleep in a 2007 study, and the researchers concluded that for patients living with the syndrome “sleep quality was significantly predictive of pain, fatigue, and social functioning.” via Health.com
What Sleep Disorders Are Common With Fibromyalgia?
Sleep disorder is the umbrella term used to describe a number of problems that can interfere with a person’s sleeping pattern and prevent them from getting the rest they need. These sleep disorders are common in fibromyalgia:
- Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep or both. Insomnia is often a symptom of another problem, such as stress, anxiety, depression, or an underlying health condition. It can also be caused by lifestyle choices, including the medications you take, lack of exercise, or even the amount of coffee you drink. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the world.
- Nonrestorative Sleep (NRS) is a problem with the quality of sleep you get. People with fibromyalgia show less deep (delta) sleep, increased lighter stages (alpha) of sleep, and wake up frequently during the night. The lack of restorative (delta) sleep is why you might sleep 8 hours, yet wake feeling unrefreshed. It is estimated that 80% of people with fibromyalgia have NRS. More about Non-Restorative Sleep
- Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) is a serious condition characterized by repeated episodes of hypopnea (under breathing) and apnea (not breathing) during sleep. Sleep disordered breathing covers two conditions, Sleep Apnea and Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). An increasing number of studies are showing a strong correlation between fibromyalgia and sleep disordered breathing. Symptoms include loud snoring, memory problems, daytime fatigue, morning headaches, and mood swings or feelings of depression. More about Sleep Disordered Breathing
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by throbbing, pulling, creeping, or other unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move them. Lying down and trying to relax activates the symptoms. Most people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. RLS is more common among people with fibromyalgia and those with rheumatoid arthritis than among people who don’t have these conditions. More about Restless Leg Syndrome
- Bruxism refers to teeth grinding, gnashing, or clenching that most frequently occurs at night. In someone with fibromyalgia, bruxism is more frequently associated with a related condition known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD). Approximately 75% of people with fibromyalgia are also affected by TMJD.
It is possible to have more than one sleep disorder at a time.
It’s Important To Treat Sleep Disorders
Poor sleep leads to more pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Evidence shows when sleep is improved, other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia also improve. Treating your sleep disorder should be a top priority. There are many natural remedy and prescription options. You may have to experiment to find what works for you.
What works or doesn’t work for you? Please share by leaving a comment.