Passive Body Heating Improves Sleep in Fibromyalgia

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Passive body heating improves sleep patterns in female patients with fibromyalgia
– Source: Clinics, February 2013

By Andressa Silva, et al.


OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of passive body heating on the sleep patterns of patients with fibromyalgia.

METHODS: Six menopausal women diagnosed with fibromyalgia according to the criteria determined by the American College of Rheumatology were included. All women underwent passive immersion in a warm bath at a temperature of 36 ±1 °C [96.8 ± 1.8 °F] for 15 sessions of 30 minutes each over a period of three weeks.

Their sleep patterns were assessed by polysomnography at the following time-points: pre-intervention (baseline), the first day of the intervention (acute), the last day of the intervention (chronic), and three weeks after the end of the intervention (follow-up). Core body temperature was evaluated by a thermistor pill during the baseline, acute, chronic, and follow-up periods. The impact of this treatment on fibromyalgia was assessed via a specific questionnaire termed the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire.


  • Sleep latency, rapid eye movement sleep latency and slow wave sleep were significantly reduced in the chronic and acute conditions compared with baseline.

  • Sleep efficiency was significantly increased during the chronic condition, and the awakening index was reduced at the chronic and follow-up time points relative to the baseline values.

  • No significant differences were observed in total sleep time, time in sleep stages 1 or 2 or rapid eye movement sleep percentage.

  • The core body temperature and Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire responses did not significantly change over the course of the study.

CONCLUSION: Passive body heating had a positive effect on the sleep patterns of women with fibromyalgia.

Clinics, February 2013. By Andressa Silva, Sandra Souza de Queiroz, Monica Levy Andersen, Marcos Mônico-Neto, Raquel Munhoz da Silveira Campos, Suely Roizenblatt, Sergio Tufik, and Marco Túlio de Mello. Departamento de Psicobiologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

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