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J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2010 Oct;22(10):548-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-7599.2010.00547.x. Epub 2010 Sep 3.

Subjective and objective sleep difficulties in women with fibromyalgia syndrome.

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School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78701, USA.



To explore differences in demographic and illness-related variables among women with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) with documented sleep problems and those without.


As part of the baseline assessments for a larger intervention study, 104 women with FMS wore an actigraph and completed a sleep log for 72 hours. Participants also completed a baseline questionnaire and a physical exam to quantify the Tender Point Index.


Although almost half (44%) of the women rated their sleep as bad or fairly bad, only 22 of the 104 women (21%) had objective sleep deficits (less than 6 hours sleep duration). The women with objective sleep deficits had significantly higher pain scores on the tender point index, perceived their sleep as significantly worse, and reported significantly more depressive symptoms and more negative impact of FMS on functioning than those without deficits. Descriptive statements in the sleep logs revealed frequent problems with energy, fatigue, and functioning for women in the sleep deficits group.


Sleep problems are a major concern among women with FMS. Those with concurrent depressive symptoms, high pain, and limited functioning may be candidates for in-depth sleep assessment and behavioral programs to improve sleep.

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