Combined cognitive-behavioural therapy – CBT – improves sleep for people with fibromyalgia

cognitive behavioural therapy, CBT, sleep, insomnia, fibromyalgia, arthritis digest

New approaches to cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can improve insomnia aspects of fibromyalgia, says a small study in the International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology.

Sleep problems are a key component of fibromyalgia. CBT is often used to manage fibromyalgia, particularly the psychological processes associated with pain and insomnia. But a team believed that combined forms of CBT could offer even greater sleep-related benefits to people with fibromyalgia.

So they split 39 women with fibromyalgia and insomnia into groups. One group were given CBT that focused on pain and the other group had CBT that centred on pain and insomnia.

People who had CBT for pain spent more time in bed, more time asleep and had less light sleep, but there was no improvement on how well they thought they slept.

But those who had CBT for pain and insomnia had higher sleep efficiency, less time awake, a longer time in deep sleep and had higher levels of perceived sleep quality.

Interested in CBT for pain or sleep (or both)? Ask your GP for a referral.

Read more recent fibromyalgia research here.

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