Sleep Problems May Lead to Widespread Pain Study Finds

By | October 19, 2018

Sleep Problems May Lead to Widespread Pain
Some people experience unexplainable random pains. You could be riding a bike, singing a song, eating oat meal or even tweeting about how much you love Justin Beiber, these pains will sneak its way unto your awareness. What causes these random pains?


Oftentimes these random pains come from muscle, bones and nerves, and become more prevalent as an individual gets older. If this pain become widespread, you are dealing with Fibromyalgia. If you ever watched TV, you are most likely familiar with Cymbalta commercials and how it depicts Fibromyalgia as a debilitating condition. The exact cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown, however, a new study on poor sleep quality may have found a link between sleep problems and widespread pain.

Related: Sleep May Aid in Boosting Learning

A study of widespread pain in adults

Arthritis & Rheumatology, an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology, collected data from 4326 adults over the age of 50. The types of information collected were in relation to pain, demography, psychological health and physical well-being. In order to better understand widespread pain, The participants selected were not experiencing any widespread pain at the beginning of the study. After three years, the participants were reevaluated.

Pain, anxiety and sleep problems mean pain development

The results show that after 3 years, 19 percent of the participants reported new widespread pain. Those who had some pain at the start of the study developed more widespread pain than those who didn’t. After further analyses, the researchers have found that several factors including anxiety, pain and sleep problems were correlated with greater widespread pain development.

Related: Sleep May Help You Lose Weight

The findings highly suggest non-restorative sleep as a significant factor in causing widespread pain in adults over 50. According to Professor Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK stated, “This important research sheds further light on the relationship between poor sleep and widespread pain, or fibromyalgia.”

He further added, “Brainwave studies have shown that people with this condition often lose deep sleep…a number of them developed the typical signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia. A combination of pain, sleep disturbance and anxiety or depression can turn into a vicious circle.”


One cannot avoid losing some sleep every now and then. No need to panic when you don’t manage to sleep on the dot everyday. Unless you have a prior medical condition, your body usually has its own way of coping with unexpected psychological and physiological demands. Debilitating conditions like widespread pain mostly develop when one destructive habit leads to another. What is the best way to combat bad habits? By forming good ones.

1. McBeth, J., Lacey, R. J., & Wilkie, R. (2013). Predictors of new onset widespread pain in older adults Results from the prospective population?based NorStOP study. Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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