Fibromyalgia and sleep dysfunction go hand in hand. Some researchers believe that fibromyalgia in essence is a sleep disorder but whether it is or not it definitely is an important component to the syndrome as a whole. Lack of sleep leads to physical and mental fatigue which increasing the brain fog associated with fibromyalgia. Non-restorative sleep has also been shown to increase the tender point pain found in fibromyalgia.
“More than 90% of patients with FMS, most of whom are women, describe poor quality of sleep. Irrespective of its duration, the sleep is often perceived to be light and unrefreshing. The patient may be aware of restlessness with kicking and involuntary leg movements, or may have a sleep-related breathing disorder such as loud snoring and interruptions to breathing. On the rare occasion that sleep is restful, there is substantial improvement in daytime symptoms. Indeed, unrefreshing or nonrestorative sleep are correlated to the myalgia and tender points in FMS.” CNS Spectrums 2008Lack of restorative sleep combined with the interference with certain hormones released during sleep has been shown to intensify fibromyalgia symptoms and been speculated to cause some of them as well. While getting quality restorative sleep regularly will not cure the syndrome it has been shown to reduce the symptoms. Therefore treating the sleep dysfunction seen in fibromyalgia is quite important to managing the condition. Often when people refer to fibromyalgia the top three symptoms are muscle pain, fatigue and sleep dysfunction but sleep dysfunction has the unique feature of having the power to intensity both pain and fatigue and therefore ought to be considered primary in management of the syndrome overall.