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Sleep and pain

Sleep disturbance may lower the point when you begin to feel pain (your 'pain threshold'). This could lead to:

  • increased pain from an already painful condition
  • developing pain from a condition that hadn’t been painful before 
  • pain that was felt only in only part of your body (localised pain) becoming more widespread.

It's also possible that disturbed sleep could cause fibromyalgia, so it's important to try to improve the quality of your sleep.

Sleep and fibromyalgia

If you have fibromyalgia, you may have sleep disturbance and fatigue, along with pain and stiffness. People with the condition often recall having disturbed sleep before the pain and stiffness began.

Although it’s likely that the fatigue is caused by a poor sleep pattern, it’s also possible that pain and stiffness may be caused by sleep disturbance. This is supported by the results of a study that prevented volunteers from going into deep sleep. Within a few days, all the volunteers developed widespread stiffness and muscle pains.

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