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Sleep, psychological distress, & stress arousal in women with fibromyalgia (FM)

  [ 25 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Shaver JL, Lentz M, Landis CA, Heitkemper MM, Buchwald DS, Woods NF • www.ProHealth.com • June 15, 1997


The purpose of this investigation was to compare self-reported sleep
quality and psychological distress, as well as somnographic
sleep and physiological stress arousal, in women recruited
from the community with self-reported medically diagnosed
fibromyalgia (FM) to women without somatic symptoms. Eleven
midlife women with FM, when compared to 11 asymptomatic women,
reported poorer sleep quality and higher SCL-90 psychological
distress scores. Women with FM also had more early night
transitional sleep (stage 1) (p < 0.01), more sleep stage
changes (p < 0.03) and a higher sleep fragmentation index (p <
0.03), but did not differ in alpha-EEG-NREM activity (a marker
believed to accompany FM). No physiological stress arousal
differences were evident. Less stable sleep in the early night
supports a postulate that nighttime hormone (e.g., growth
hormone) disturbance is an etiologic factor but, contrary to
several literature assertions, alpha-EEG-NREM activity sleep
does not appear to be a specific marker of FM. Further study
of mechanisms is needed to guide treatment options.




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