When a patient has fibromyalgia, sleep troubles are the last thing they need. Unfortunately, sleep problems affect a large number of fibromyalgia patients, and those problems can turn into a vicious cycle that interplays with daytime pain and fatigue.
Explore this issueJanuary 2018
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“Pain and sleep disturbances are a double-edged sword,” says Elika Kormeili, MFT, a licensed clinical psychologist in Los Angeles who helps treat patients with sleep problems. “The more pain you have, the more difficulty you have falling asleep and staying asleep. The less sleep you get, the more of a sleep deficit you have, which makes pain worse.”
“It’s been well documented that a lack of sleep lowers one’s pain threshold and magnifies pain perception,” says Inchel Yeam, MD, an internist at the MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, Calif., and board-certified in sleep medicine, pulmonary disease and critical care medicine. “Anything that increases pain in fibromyalgia patients could be detrimental.”