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Fibromyalgia symptoms increase with daytime naps

Lana Bandoim's picture

A new study has found that daytime naps can actually increase fibromyalgia symptoms. The surprising finding is related to disturbed nighttime sleeping habits that develop as a result of daytime naps. In addition, the duration of the daytime naps has a strong impact on memory.


The study, published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, included 1044 adults who suffered from fibromyalgia. Patients reported an increase in symptoms after daytime naps with higher rates of pain, anxiety, fatigue and other issues. Patients who took naps for more than 30 minutes also experienced higher rates of memory problems and depression. Researchers would like to see better napping guidelines developed for patients with fibromyalgia.

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Researchers noted that many fibromyalgia patients use daytime naps as a coping mechanism to manage symptoms. Surprisingly, their findings reveal that symptoms do not improve after the naps. In addition, daytime napping can interfere with nighttime sleeping habits and create more issues. Researchers believe better sleep and fatigue strategies are needed for fibromyalgia patients, so they do not have to rely on daytime naps. This would require the involvement of doctors and customized sleep management techniques for each patient.

Unfortunately, many fibromyalgia patients report feeling sluggish and continue to suffer from brain fog after taking a nap. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health actually recommends that fibromyalgia patients avoid daytime naps because it can interfere with their ability to sleep at night. If they cannot be avoided, they suggest limiting the duration of the naps as part of an overall sleep management strategy. Many experts suggest limiting naps to less than 30 minutes. Restorative sleep is essential for reducing the symptoms of the disease, but it requires at least 8 hours at night, and most patients struggle with it.

Read more about fibromyalgia:
Memantine drug shows promise for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia study focuses on brain stimulation to fight pain