Can Sleep Apnea Cause Fibromyalgia?

The probable relationship between sleep apnea and fibromyalgia is one of many connections between sleep disorders and a variety of health problems that have drawn attention. In this post, we’ll examine the complex interrelationship between these two states, revealing any potential ties and consequences they might have on one another. Read on to learn more if you’ve ever questioned whether your sleepless nights could be a cause of chronic discomfort and Can Sleep Apnea Cause Fibromyalgia?

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Chronic pain, discomfort, and increased sensitivity to touch are the hallmarks of fibromyalgia. There are a number of additional symptoms that are frequently present, including fatigue, sleep issues, cognitive challenges (commonly referred to as “fibro fog”), and mood disorders like sadness and anxiety.

The delicate connection between sleep and persistent pain is shown by the association between sleep apnea and fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors, while its specific etiology is yet unknown. Despite being a disease that primarily affects women, it is typically detected in middle age. And if you want to learn about sleep apnea in detail then read our detailed article.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Widespread pain, exhaustion, and increased sensitivity to touch are symptoms of fibromyalgia. Headaches, sleep issues, and cognitive problems are possible additional symptoms. Recognizing the potential effects of sleep apnea depends on having a thorough understanding of these symptoms.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms



Widespread Pain

Chronic pain that affects multiple areas of the body.


Persistent tiredness and lack of energy.

Cognitive DifficultiesOften referred to as “fibro fog,” includes memory lapses and difficulty concentrating.
Sleep Disturbances

Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Sensitivity to Touch

Increased pain response to pressure or touch.

Fibromyalgia and Sleep

Patients with fibromyalgia frequently complain of sleep difficulties. It might be difficult to get a good night’s sleep when you have fibromyalgia, which emphasizes the need to deal with sleep-related problems. 

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Fibromyalgia?

Sleep apnea and fibromyalgia have a complicated and poorly understood association. Even while there isn’t any concrete proof that sleep apnea causes fibromyalgia, some study points to a potential link between the two disorders.

Overlap of Symptoms

Fatigue, difficulty thinking clearly, and mood swings are among the symptoms that both sleep apnea and fibromyalgia have in common. This overlapping of symptoms may help people confuse the two diseases.

Sleep Disorder

Sleep apnea is characterized by breathing pauses while you are asleep, which causes disturbed sleep cycles and low oxygen levels. Due to the importance of sleep for both pain management and general well-being, the consequent poor sleep quality and sleep fragmentation can exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms.

Pain Sensitization

There may be interactions between sleep apnea and fibromyalgia that make pain sensitization worse. The neural system becomes more sensitive to pain signals during the process of central sensitization, which may be exacerbated by sleep abnormalities caused by sleep apnea. This could then make the discomfort from fibromyalgia worse.

Inflammatory Processes

Fibromyalgia and sleep apnea have both been connected to inflammatory processes. Sleep apnea can cause systemic inflammation as a result of recurrent hypoxia (low oxygen levels), which may have an effect on fibromyalgia symptoms that are known to be associated with inflammation.

Important Note: While there are intriguing links between sleep apnea and fibromyalgia, it’s crucial to remember that more research is required to establish a definitive cause-and-effect connection.

Is There a Link Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Syndrome?

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and fibromyalgia syndrome both entail intricate physiological processes, and there may be a connection between them. To completely comprehend the nature of this interaction, more study is necessary.

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Fibromyalgia?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Co-morbidity in Patients With Fibromyalgia

The treatment of fibromyalgia may become more challenging when coexisting disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, are present. It is crucial to treat both illnesses at the same time to enhance the general quality of life. The majority of individuals with obstructive sleep apnea are still treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), but some patients don’t accept it, find it difficult to bear, or have primarily correctable anatomical issues with their upper airways that may be the source of the obstruction.

How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Commonly Identified?

Through sleep, testing like Nocturnal Polysomnography, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is frequently diagnosed. This test tracks a variety of sleep-related variables, including breathing patterns, to identify the existence and severity of OSA.

How Can Treating Sleep Apnea Help Us Manage Fibromyalgia Pain?

The quality of sleep may be enhanced by treating sleep apnea with therapies like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. In turn, getting more rest can aid in controlling the pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia.

How Prevalent Is Sleep Apnea and Fibromyalgia?

The considerable overlap between sleep apnea and fibromyalgia underlines the potential connections that may exist between both illnesses. This prevalence highlights the necessity for all-encompassing healthcare strategies that treat pain and sleep difficulties.

Sleep Apnea Secondary to Fibromyalgia

According to a recent study, people with fibromyalgia may be more likely to acquire secondary conditions like sleep apnea. Although the causes of this link are still being investigated, it illustrates the intricate interactions that exist among sleep disorders.

Best Sleeping Position for Fibromyalgia

The way you sleep is very important for controlling your fibromyalgia symptoms. The trick is to find a comfortable position that doesn’t make the pain worse. Many people find alleviation by resting on their backs with pillows supporting their necks and knees.

Body Pains Related Connected Sleep Apnea

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Joint Pain?

Although breathing problems while sleeping are the main symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s crucial to remember that such chronic diseases might have a systemic impact. Over time, sleep apnea-related inflammation and oxygen depletion may be linked to joint discomfort.

Sleep Apnea Muscle Pain

The defining symptom of fibromyalgia is muscle pain, and there is evidence that sleep apnea may make this symptom worse. Muscle aches and discomfort could be made worse by the interrupted sleep cycles and low oxygen levels associated with sleep apnea.

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Pain All Over the Body?

Although sleep apnea predominantly affects breathing, its effects can be felt throughout the body. It’s critical to understand the potential systemic repercussions of sleep apnea, which can range from cardiovascular problems to probable fibromyalgia symptoms worsening.

Can CPAP Cause Muscle Pain?

Despite the fact that CPAP therapy is typically well tolerated, some people may feel brief discomfort or muscle soreness during adjusting. To ensure proper use, this should be reviewed with a healthcare professional.

Can CPAP Cause Joint Pain?

Joint pain is not frequently linked to CPAP use. However, it’s crucial to see a doctor if joint discomfort develops or manifests itself after beginning CPAP in order to rule out any potential problems.

For more information you can read:  Learn more about sleep apnea and its implications


Sleep and pain are closely related in the complex web of health. The complexity our bodies must navigate are brought into focus by the potential connection between sleep apnea and fibromyalgia. Addressing sleep-related problems could provide you with a road to better fibromyalgia management and a higher quality of life if you suffer from the condition. Never forget that getting advice from medical specialists is essential for a thorough approach to your well-being.

Video Credits:

Mayo Clinic Health System


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