Sleep Disturbance and Chronic Widespread Pain

  • John McBethEmail author
  • Ross Wilkie
  • John Bedson
  • Carolyn Chew-Graham
  • Rosie J. Lacey
Chronic Pain (R Staud, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Chronic Pain


Musculoskeletal pain is common and often occurs at multiple sites. Persons with chronic widespread pain (CWP) often report disturbed sleep. Until recently, the relationship between sleep disturbance and CWP has been unclear: does poor sleep increase the risk of developing CWP, do people with CWP develop poor sleep as a consequence of their pain, or is the relationship bi-directional? In this article, we have focused on the relationship between insomnia and CWP. We briefly present descriptive epidemiological data for insomnia and CWP. We then summarise the available evidence which supports the hypothesis that the relationship is bi-directional. Finally, we discuss the clinical management of CWP and insomnia in primary care, where the vast majority of cases of CWP are managed.


Epidemiology Prevalence Risk factor Incidence Onset Cohort study Longitudinal study Chronic widespread pain Widespread pain Fibromyalgia Sleep Insomnia Sleep problems Ageing Older adults Primary care Clinical management 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

John McBeth, Ross Wilkie, John Bedson, Carolyn Chew-Graham, and Rosie J. Lacey declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • John McBeth
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ross Wilkie
    • 1
  • John Bedson
    • 1
  • Carolyn Chew-Graham
    • 1
  • Rosie J. Lacey
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Institute for Primary Care and Health SciencesKeele UniversityStaffordshireUK

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