Sleep Disorders and Scleroderma

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Overview of Sleep and Scleroderma
Restless Leg Syndrome
Sleep and Illness
Sleep and Medications
Sleep Apnea
Personal Stories


People with systemic scleroderma have disturbed sleep.

Pelican by Janet Paulmenn, ISN ArtistSystemic Sclerosis (scleroderma) is associated with sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome. Poor sleep has been found to trigger inflammation and worsen pain. It can lead to depression and make it more difficult to cope with chronic illness.

If you are not getting 8 hours of sound sleep each night, if you do not wake up feeling refreshed, or if you sleep more than 10 hours a day, and if any of these conditions have existed for more than 2 weeks, it is time to see your doctor. Be sure to ask for a sleep clinic evaluation if you have any symptoms of sleep apnea, such as snoring or interrupted breathing. (Also see What is Scleroderma?)

Insomnia treatment may help ease depression during menopause. Women going through menopause may have fewer symptoms of depression when they get treatment for insomnia than when they don't, a recent experiment suggests. Reuters Health, 01/18/2019. (Also see Depression)

The best insomnia cure? Fake it in bed! The face of modern insomnia fits a familiar pattern: dropping off on the sofa in front of the TV, but suddenly alert and not even remotely sleepy when you finally climb the stairs to bed. Mail Online, 07/23/2017.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Fibromyalgia and Restless Leg Syndrome. Restless legs syndrome may affect up to 10% of the U.S. population. It affects both sexes but is more common in women and may begin at any age, even in young children. Most people who are affected severely are middle-aged or older. The Fibro Doctor.

Restless legs syndrome triples the risk of suicidal thoughts, study finds. People with restless legs syndrome have a greater risk of suicidal thoughts, a study suggests. Mail Online, 10/16/2018. (Also see Suicide Prevention)

Sleep Disorders and Illness

Sleep Disturbance and Illness. With the onset of chronic illness, a good night's sleep is often the first thing to go. Sometimes poor sleep is a precursor to illness, and other times it is a result. ISN.

Overview of Sleep Disorders and Illness
Suggestions for Better Sleep
Sleep Disorders and Genetics
Sleep Spindles
Immune System and Circadian Clocks
Infections and Sleep
Inflammation and Sleep
Sleep Apnea

Sleep and Medications

Medications that Interfere with Sleep include some antidepressants, heart and blood pressure medications, allergy medications, stimulants (such as Ritalin), corticosteroids, pain medication combinations, decongestants and weight-loss products. Antihistamines may initially make you groggy, but they can worsen urinary problems, causing you to get up to urinate more during the night. Mayo Clinic.

For older drivers, sleep meds are linked with car accidents. Drivers over age 80 or women over age 70 who take the prescription sleeping pill Ambien tend to have more motor vehicle collisions, according to a new study. Reuters Health, 01/15/2016.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea causes people to frequently stop breathing during sleep. The episodes can last for several seconds or longer. It results in unrefreshing sleep which can cause daytime sleepiness and fatigue. ISN.

Overview of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea and Autoimmune Diseases
Patient Stories

Personal Stories

Aileen: CREST Scleroderma Oh, the wonderful feeling to have a doctor sit there and tell you that you are not imagining things…

Ang: Morphea and Fibromyalgia I was diagnosed with morphea in February 2002, but had this for a year prior to that without knowing exactly what the diagnosis was…

Brenda: Limited Scleroderma, CREST, Raynaud's I was sick for five or six years, telling doctors how much pain I was in…

More Sleep Disorder Personal Stories…

Go to Sleep Disorders and Illness

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