By: Dr Alex Robber
Daytime napping was associated substantially with increased pain, depression, anxiety, exhaustion, memory problems and sleep problems.
What works for other doesn’t always works for fibromyalgia
Many of us with Fibromyalgia are depending on napping to give us some extra energy to get through the day, but can those naps really make us feel worse? Personally, I am one of those who cannot snuggle. It is a rare day during the day that I manage to fall asleep.
I’m not going to say it never happens, but it’s not a common occurrence and most of the time when I’m trying to get a nap that I can’t. Past studies have shown that napping is having beneficial effects on healthy people. Less than 30 minutes of naps help to replenish lost sleep and provide restored strength.
And, since we all know what works with healthy people, Fibromyalgia doesn’t always work for those with.
Experimental studies to see the effect of napping
Frequent daytime napping in people with fibromyalgia is associated with increased symptom severity, reinforcing the preceding notion that those with fibromyalgia nap to cope with the disorder. Still, there is no evidence to suggest that napping is beneficial or harmful to those with the disease.
Alice Theadom, PhD, of New Zealand’s Auckland University of Technology, and colleagues surveyed 1,044 adults (92.5 percent female) diagnosed with fibromyalgia via an online questionnaire to assess whether fibromyalgia symptoms associated nap frequency and length.
The researchers found that daytime napping was significantly associated with various comorbidities, exhaustion rates, discomfort, anxiety, depression, sleep problems and memory problems (P<0.01). The use of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, Pregabalin or Gabapentin, and opioids was also correlated with daytime napping.
From a frequency and length point of view, those who took regular daytime naps had more comorbidities, pain, exhaustion, memory problems, sleep problems, anxiety, and depression compared to those who napped less often or not at all. Those who spent more than 30 minutes napping everyday appeared to be lower in age, had children living at home, and had higher levels of depression and memory problems compared to those who spent less than 30 minutes napping.
Day time napping behavior in fibromyalgia sufferers
“In this study, it was noteworthy that age was not found to be significantly correlated with or predictive of daytime napping activity in FMS, even with 11.5 percent of the sample aged over 60 years. In addition, younger adults with FMS were found to napp more often and for longer periods of time than older adults; with a higher proportion of younger adults reporting napping due to pain and irritability, “the researchers wrote.
“These findings suggest that napping activity may be more intrinsically linked to symptoms of FMS than to other demographic factors; however, in this research, causality was not determinable.”
Is There a Better Time to Nap?
Sleep can be unrefreshing and fibromyalgia exhaustion can make it difficult to get through the day. One way to help you along may be to take a snack, even if you can do it only on weekends. But when you wake up from a daytime nap, you want to mitigate the sluggish, mentally slow sensation that may greet you (as if your brain hasn’t snapped out of sleep).
So the question is: should you be taking the nap in the morning or in the evening? A research that looks at the 10 a.m after impact About 3 p.m. Sleep in healthy people shows that morning naps can be the best way to recover from sleep more quickly. * A research team in Ireland intentionally shortened their study subjects by two hours of sleep the night before so they would be more exhausted on the day of the test.
They then split the volunteers into three distinct groups: those permitted a 90-minute morning nap (at 10 a.m.), those allowed a 90-minute afternoon nap (at 3 p.m.), and those who were kept awake for the remainder of the day (the no-nap group).
In the two napping groups, cognitive evaluations and psychomotor vigilant function (i.e., reaction times) were assessed at five and 20 minutes after they had been awakened from their naps. The same experiments were carried out about the monitor who had not taken a nap. The study’s goal was to determine which nap category had the fastest recovered from the drowsy effects of sleep.
On the cognitive / vigilant assessments, balanced participants in the morning nap group performed similarly as did the no-nap group. There was also, in fact, no difference between the test results of this nap group just five minutes after waking, compared to 20 minutes after waking.
The afternoon nap party, by comparison, performed poorly after being awake for five minutes, although they performed on the simple tasks 20 minutes after waking, as well as the sleepy control subjects. Looking at the complexity of cognitive training, the afternoon nap (even after 20 minutes) most affected those requiring higher-level functions and greater load on working memory.
In other words, on the basic “brainless” cognitive tests, napping subjects actually did good. So, if you don’t intend on testing your brain after a nap, you might get by doing it in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the afternoon nap people were a poor judge of their cognitive post-nap declines (i.e., they felt they scored much better than they did actually).
What does this research say about napping’s potential impacts on cognitive function? You might even wake up less warnings from an afternoon nap, even if you’re sleepy. Alternatively, it may be best to work with less challenging tasks through exhaustion later in the day. But a morning nap may not weaken your skills any further.
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- Daytime napping associated with increased symptom severity in fibromyalgia syndrome via NCBI NLM