Fibromyalgia sleep ‘chronotypes’ linked to symptom subtypes

Fibromyalgia syndrome and chronotype: Late chronotypes are more affected
– Source: Journal of Biological Rhythms, Apr 2012

By Thomas Kantermann, et al.

[Note: People have different natural biological bedtime, sleep length and waking patterns, or ‘chronotypes’. Till Roenneberg and Dr. Karla V Allebrandt at LMU Munich developed the MunichChronotype Questionnaire as part of their study of sleep pattern-associated gene variants (‘chronogenetics’). This large international study used the questionnaire to see if any FM symptom patterns reflect chronotypes.]

Sleep has strong links to the symptomology of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), a diffuse musculoskeletal pain disorder.

Information about the involvement of the circadian clock is, however, sparse. In this study, 1,548 individuals with FMS completed an online survey containing questions on demographics, stimulant consumption, sleep quality, well-being and subjective pain, chronotype (assessed by the Munich ChronoType Questionnaire, MCTQ), and FMS impact.

Chronotype (expressed as the mid-sleep-point on free days, corrected for sleep deficit on workdays, MSF(sc)):

• Significantly correlated with:

– Stress ratings,
– So-called “memory failures in everyday life,”
– Fatigue,
– FMS impact,
– And depression,

• But not with anxiety.

When chronotypes were categorized into 3 groups (early, intermediate, late):

• Significant group differences were found for sum scores of perceived stress, memory failures in everyday life, fatigue, FMS impact, and depression but not anxiety,

• With late chronotypes being more affected than early chronotypes.

• Sleepiness ratings were highest in early chronotypes.

• Challenges of sleep quality and subjective pain were significantly increased in both early and late chronotypes.

• The results show that according to their reports, late chronotypes are more affected by fibromyalgia.

Source: Journal of Biological Rhythms, Apr 2012;27(2):176-9. PMID:22476779, by Kantermann T, Theadom A, Roenneberg T, Cropley M. Centre for Chronobiology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, and Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK; National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand; Centre for Chronobiology, Institute for Medical Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany. [Email:]

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