People with fibromyalgia often report problems with sleeping, but a new study in the Journal of Pain shows that troubled sleep doesn’t actually predict fibromyalgia pain.
University of Florida researchers hypothesized that because past research has shown a link between troubled sleep and other kinds of pain, as well as a link between sleep deprivation and pain in people who don’t have fibromyalgia, there might be a link between less sleep and pain from fibromyalgia.
But in their study, they found that lack of sleep was not able to predict the pain the study participants felt. Their study was based on 74 people with fibromyalgia, whose sleep and pain information was taken for 14 days.
“This study suggests that measures of sleep duration and nightly wake time do not predict fibromyalgia pain at the group level,” the researchers wrote in the study. Rather, they said that being inactive or having fatigue may better predict pain than the amount of sleep obtained in a night.
However, this research isn’t to say there’s no link between sleep and fibromyalgia. A recent study in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism showed that trouble sleeping can increase a woman’s risk of developing fibromyalgia by more than three times, compared to people who get better rest, Health.com reported.
But still, the researchers of that study cautioned that the research doesn’t show that sleep problems cause fibromyalgia, Health.com reported:
“Sleep problems are just one factor that may contribute to the development of fibromyalgia,” says Paul J. Mork, Ph.D., a study coauthor and a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in Trondheim. “Fibromyalgia is a complex pain syndrome and there are numerous other factors that may contribute to the development of this illness.”