The causes of fibromyalgia remain somewhat mysterious. People who have this condition often complain of pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Sensitive points are frequently found on the back, shoulders and neck. Now Norwegian investigators are pointing to sleep problems as a contributing factor in fibromyalgia.
The researchers tracked over 12,000 women over a decade. At the beginning of the study none of the women complained of symptoms suggestive of fibromyalgia. By the end of the trial, however, over 300 women had been diagnosed with this condition. Those who reported difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep were much more likely to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Whether correcting the sleep problems would reduce the risk of developing fibromyalgia has yet to be determined.
[Arthritis & Rheumatism, November 2011]

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  1. Yvonne B.

    Sleep is not the only problem pain at all time of the day can be herendous no relief is felt also pain in the legs is another problem which effects your walking is there anything out there that can help these pains I have tried lyrica which does help but not enough

  2. RLozano

    Is it possible this condition might be partially due to vitamin D deficiency? 60%+ of Americans supposedly are low on vitamin D.

  3. KV

    When I was married many, many years ago, I began having trouble sleeping due to my then-husband suddenly developing practically deafening snoring. I tried to sleep upstairs, to no avail, because his snoring was so loud, it could be heard from outside the house.
    About the same time, I began to experience an odd sensation of my arms feeling so heavy that later in the day I wanted to be able to remove them and hang them up, just to have them out of my way.
    I then developed fasciiting necrosis of the gum tissue in my mouth which required extensive work for 15 years by a slew of professionals.
    After my ex-husband and I split up, I moved back into my own home in a neighborhood where the city had built a fire station and the neighbors had become rather … rambunctious. My house would vibrate and doubling up on ear plugs did nothing to quiet the loud, bass-pronounced music that seemed to sound 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    After developing pain elsewhere in my body, etc., and seeing blood test results that used to be normal be completely out of whack (along with X-rays of my spine, MRIs, etc.), I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and CFIDS.
    When I’m able to sleep well for weeks at a time and there is very little stress in my life, I can begin to feel less ill. Not well, just less ill. So I know that sleep and stress (life, in other words) definitely have something to do with fibromyalgia symptoms.
    From my experience, which has been a long and grueling one with no end in sight, I have to conclude that when one is predisposed to developing fibromyalgia (as with other conditions such as M.S., heart disease, lung cancer, etc.), the stress associated with less sleep or lack of sleep over a certain period of time can push the body over the edge.
    By the way, I test positive for CMV, EBV, Herpes Virus-6, and a slew of other viruses that have been implicated in fibromyalgia/CFIDS. In addition, my IgM, IgG, etc., are extremely low.

  4. abigail

    What has happened to the testing done in France that found fibromyalgia was caused by an enterovirus?

  5. dp

    I’ve often wondered how many people with fibromyalgia ever have, or are currently taking a statin drug. The side effects for some people taking a statin are eerily similar to fibromyalgia symptoms.

  6. pj

    Good point. This study seems to point to an association between two variables (fibromyalgia and lack of sleep), but is far from proving causation. It’s like the proverbial question of the chicken or the egg– which came first?

  7. Nancy

    Could not fibromyalia cause sleep disturbance?

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