Fibromyalgia: patients wake up more than 6 times per night

People with fibromyalgia also suffer from sleep disorders. At night, patients wake up at least 6 times a night.

The vast majority of people with  fibromyalgia  have  sleep disorders . And according to a  Canadian study  published in the Clinical Journal of Pain, patients have specific disturbances of their sleep. This disorder could be a new indicator of this pathology difficult to diagnose.

Fibromyalgia is indeed an  unknown disease and poorly supported . Yet, it is not uncommon: between 2 and 3 million French people are affected. They suffer from pain throughout the body without being able to identify the source of these ailments. These diffuse pains are linked to an attack of the nerve fibers transmitting the painful information or a disturbance of the management of the pain. The patients also complain of fatigue, anxiety and insomnia.

Patients awake 6 times a night

To better understand the nature of sleep disorders in people with fibromyalgia, researchers from the University of Ontario (Canada) studied 132 patients, 109 insomniacs and 52 people without sleep problems. For 2 consecutive nights, their complete sleep was recorded by polysomnography. Thanks to the electrodes placed on the scalp and the faces of the volunteers, the researchers were able to analyze the duration of the sleep, the cycles and the different stages of the sleep as well as the time of falling asleep.

Scientists observe that fibromyalgia and insomniacs have a harder time falling asleep than people without disorders, and have a deep sleep fragmented. Their nights are characterized by a greater succession of short-lived nocturnal awakenings and episodes of sleep than those sleeping on their 2 ears. These participants would be awake at least 6 times a night.

However, scientists note that these waking phases are shorter in people with fibromyalgia than in those with primary insomnia, they are more common.

Restore a continuous sleep

This work suggests that people with fibromyalgia do not have the same sleep problems as those with insomnia. By identifying these differences, practitioners will be able to diagnose and treat these disturbances more effectively. For fibromyalgia, the management would thus reduce the frequency of waking episodes and maintain a continuous sleep.

A  study  published in the  Journal of Neurophysiology  last February indicated that these disturbances of sleep originated in the thalamus, an area of ​​the brain that regulates sleep. Researchers at UC Berkeley have indeed noted abnormalities in deep sleep waves. But the latter could be restored thanks to a drug prescribed for narcolepsy. A discovery that offers a treatment opportunity to restore sleep and relieve fibromyalgia.

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