Sleep disturbances of adult women suffering from fibromyalgia: Asystematic review of observational studies

Carolina Diaz-Piedra, Leandro L. Di Stasi, Carol M. Baldwin, Gualberto Buela-Casal, Andres Catena

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

33 Scopus citations


Although sleep complaints are often reported in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), there is no conclusive evidence that these complaints represent symptomatic disorders of sleep physiology. Thus, the question of the role of sleep disturbances as an etiological or maintenance factor in FMS remains open. This study identifies the subjective and objective characteristics of sleep disturbances in adult women diagnosed with FMS. We carried out a systematic review of publications since 1990, the publication year of the American College of Rheumatology criteria of FMS. We selected empirical studies comparing sleep characteristics of adult women with FMS and healthy women or women with rheumatic diseases. We identified 42 articles. Patients with FMS were more likely to exhibit sleep complaints and also a less efficient, lighter and fragmented sleep. The evidence of a FMS signature on objective measures of sleep is inconsistent, however, as the majority of studies lacks statistical power. Current evidence cannot confirm the role played by sleep physiology in the pathogenesis or maintenance of FMS symptoms; nonetheless, it is clear that sleep disturbances are present in this syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-99
Number of pages14
JournalSleep Medicine Reviews
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Actigraphy
  • Alpha-EEG sleep
  • Arousal
  • Chronic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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