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Mindfulness promotes better sleep in fibromyalgia patients

04 Apr 2020

Among patients with fibromyalgia, practicing mindfulness may alleviate pain, depression and anxiety, thereby conferring benefits for sleep, a study has found.

Researchers looked at 177 fibromyalgia patients (mean age, 52.0 years; 93 percent female; body mass index, 30 kg/m2) and measured mindfulness (Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire [FFMQ]), sleep quality and disturbance (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI], PROMIS Sleep Disturbance [PROMIS‐SD]), pain interference (PROMIS Pain Interference), and anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale).

The mean disease duration of the population was 13.1 years. The mean total FFMQ score was 131.3, with mean scores ranging from 21.7 to 29.5 across the five individual facets of mindfulness.

Higher mindfulness was significantly associated with better sleep quality (PSQI, p=0.002), less sleep disturbance (PROMIS‐SD, p=0.002), lower pain interference (p<0.0001), and reduced anxiety (p<0.001) and depression (p<0.0001).

The relationship between mindfulness and sleep quality was mediated by pain interference, depression and anxiety.

The results highlight the importance of developing multimodal therapeutic strategies influencing multiple clinical characteristics, including mindfulness and psychosocial factors, to improve sleep quality for individuals with fibromyalgia, according to the researchers. 

More studies are needed to investigate the causality and directionality of the observed relationships and should consider measuring change in mindfulness to evaluate its longitudinal effect on sleep in fibromyalgia populations, they added.

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