Poor sleep tied to widespread pain
New research published in the journal A_rthritis & Rheumatology_ suggest that poor sleep, anxiety, memory problems and poor physical health were all linked to a higher risk of developing widespread pain in older adults, which is a key feature of fibromyalgia.
The research team at Keele University in England identified all of the factors linked to increased risk of developing widespread pain in older adults. The data came from more than 4,300 adults over the age of 50 who were free of widespread pain at the start of the study period. At that point in the research participants filled in questionnaires about pain, mental and physical health, lifestyle and health behaviors, medical conditions and socioeconomic status.
The participants were followed for three years and re-assessed for development of pain, using the American College of Rheumatology’s criteria. The results showed that at the three-year follow up, 19 percent of the participants reported new widespread pain. The researchers found that anxiety, physical health issues, and having some form of cognitive problems and non-restorative sleep were linked to an increased risk of developing widespread pain.
However, because the study was not designed to understand the cause and effect of pain, the researchers cannot say whether non-restorative sleep is a cause or effect of fibromyalgia.