According to a study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, when patients with FM nap during the day to cope with their symptoms, their symptom severity may actually increase. A team of researchers from New Zealand, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and Germany gathered data from an online questionnaire and noticed that frequent and longer naps taken during the day corresponded to greater symptom severity.
“Given the common use of daytime napping in people with fibromyalgia, evidence-based guidelines on the use of daytime napping in people with chronic pain are urgently needed,” stated the authors.
The questionnaire gathered data on age, sex, and other population descriptors, as well as measures to assess daytime napping behaviour. From this data, the researchers divided the patients into two categories: those who regularly napped and those who napped less frequently than once a day. The majority of daily nappers did so during the afternoon without meaning to take a nap. Only 22.5% of participants indicated that they plan their daytime naps. Generally, patients nap because they are tired or exhausted, do not feel well, need to make up for a bad night’s sleep, have a headache, or are experiencing pain.
FYI: Younger patients napped more than older patients during the day, both in frequency and in duration.
Although napping makes patients feel better at the time, this study suggests that overall symptom severity may worsen as naps become longer and more frequent.