Pain and fatigue are two of the most debilitating symptoms that occur with fibromyalgia. The chronic pain makes getting decent sleep a real challenge. And the lack of sleep is often the precursor to greater levels of pain the next day.
According to The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association, Inc. website, fibromyalgia pain is made worse due to the nervous system's malfunction in pain processing.
Sleep disorders associated with fibromyalgia include difficulties in falling asleep, then trouble staying asleep. No matter how much sleep is attained through the night though, generally it is unrefreshing. Not being able to stay asleep means they aren't getting restorative sleep.
Night time can be exhausting to the person with fibromyalgia. The sufferer can wake up feeling as exhausted as they did when they first went to bed.
It's obvious that lack of sleep can have an unpleasant effect on those who live with joint pain. The correlation may not be as direct as it first appears however.
Research published in The Journal of Pain indicated that it may not be the lack of sleep in and of itself that causes the problem so much as the effects of insufficient sleep. In other words, it may be the exhaustion and lack of activity resulting from impaired sleep that leaves the sufferer in greater pain.
Of course, for sufferers of fibromyalgia, this knowledge is not going to help them sleep at night. Tossing and turning, trying unsuccessfully to find relief by constantly changing position, is wearing and sleep can prove elusive to the point of being nonexistent.
People with fibromyalgia know all too well that often a night spent with eyes wide open will lead to more pain in the morning.
Fibromyalgia can be mistaken for arthritis due to its symptoms of pain and inability to find restful sleep. Fibromyalgia however does not result in inflammation and does not damage joints or muscles though it feels like it.
It's considered a rheumatic condition though, as arthritis is, because while physical damage does not occur, it can feel like it does. The condition does impair joints and muscles, causing pain on a chronic basis.