Till today, experts and doctors are still caught in a chicken and egg dilemma when it somes to sleeping disorders in fibromyalgia. While some believe that prolonged unrestorative sleep causing physical and emotional stress on the body is one of the triggers of fibromyalgia, others see sleeping problems as a consequential symptom of fibromyalgia. Sleeping disorders in fibromyalgia comes in different forms and can affect your sleep to different extents. Do you know which sleeping disorder is affecting your sleep?
As strange as the term sounds, the meaning is quite simple – an abnormal sleep pattern. Alpha waves generated by our brain indicate a state where you are awake but resting. An electroencephalograph or EEG that records waves of a sleeping brain usually shows delta waves during stage 3 sleep, which is supposed to be deep sleep. When there is an anomaly in this situation, alpha waves hamper the brain’s ability to relax as it should. Fibromyalgia patients are often unable to sleep due to this disorder.
An extremely dangerous condition, sleep apnea causes people to sporadically stop breathing in their sleep. The constant deficiency of air jolts them out of a deep sleep often, thereby interrupting a good nights’ rest. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) that blocks the airway or one of several possible sites can occur as a symptom of fibromyalgia.
Teeth grinding, gnashing, or clenching when the person is asleep is known as bruxism, which is a common problem of fibromyalgia, and closely linked with sleep disturbance issues. The muscles in the face suddenly clenches, thus waking you by causing grinding of teeth and immense pain in the jaw area. It is associated with a related problem known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD), and more than 75% of people with fibromyalgia have TMJD too that leads to muscle pain in the face, neck, shoulders, and back.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)
PLMD is characterized by slow and repeated movements of ankle and toes to violent kicking and flailing of limbs during sleep. This sleeping disorder causes insomnia and fatigue during the day. Fibromyalgia patients often undergo PLMD due to chronic pain and ache.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
As is evident from the name, RLS denotes the urge to maintain continuous movement of legs even while they are resting. This happens when you feel discomfort, unease, or pain due to fibromyalgia that is slightly eased if movement is initiated in the legs. Doing so in the middle of the night leads to frequent waking up and very little sleep.