We know that fibromyalgia causes horribly disordered sleep. And we know that years of poor sleep is one of the factors that can "blow a fuse" in the hypothalamus (the area of the brain that regulates energy), which can trigger FMS. But scientific research has never directly linked poor sleep to the development of FMS. Until now.
Norwegian researchers conducted a study of more than 12,000 women, none of whom had FMS at the beginning of the study. But over the next 13 years, those who "often" or "always" had sleep problems were 343% more likely to develop FMS than women who "never" had sleep problems. And among women aged 45 or older, poor sleep increased the risk of developing FMS by an incredible 541% — more than five times the risk!
"We were somewhat surprised that the association was that strong," said one of the researchers.
So, as we've suspected, the link between sleep and fibromyalgia goes in both directions. Fibromyalgia causes poor sleep, and poor sleep also causes fibromyalgia. And this strong link is a big reason why — although we can wean most FMS patients off most therapies — continuing to address sleep (and providing nutritional support) is a must for their long-term health.
"Sleep Disorder Linked to Fibromyalgia Risk," Medscape
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.