Insufficient sleep is an under-recognized public health problem that is projected to increase in the next decade as the US population ages. Chronic insomnia alone impacts 10% to 15% of adults. Epidemiologic data indicate that pain, fatigue, and mood disturbance are common correlates of persistent insomnia. Rates of most sleep disorders are substantially elevated in rheumatologic diseases, with chronic insomnia impacting at least 50% of patients. Clinicians treating patients with rheumatologic disorders should screen for sleep disorders and possess a basic knowledge of sleep physiology and empirically based intervention approaches. Sleep disturbances occurring within the context of chronic medical illnesses, including rheumatologic diseases, do not typically respond to primary disease and/or pain management interventions. Identification of co-occurring sleep disorders followed by aggressive treatment is recommended and has the potential to improve quality of life, ameliorate pain, and improve psychosocial adaptation to the primary illness. In this report, we briefly highlight that sleep disturbance increases risk for both comorbidities and symptoms associated with rheumatologic diseases, we identify specific sleep disorders commonly encountered in rheumatologic populations, and we discuss pharmacologic and behavioral treatment approaches for the most common sleep disorder observed in rheumatologic conditions, chronic insomnia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology