The exacerbation of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms in women are predictable through sleep disturbances, determined through an objective measurement of sleep, according to a recent exploratory study conducted at the University of Washington, in Seattle. Not only self-reported IBS symptoms, mood disturbance, and fatigue, but also objectively measured sleep using actigraphy are able to foretell next-day effects.
“This small exploratory study supports previous findings that self-reported sleep disturbance predicted exacerbation of next-day symptoms in women with IBS and extends this relationship using an objective sleep measure,” the study concluded, which was led by Diana Taibi Buchanan, Ph.D. “The study adds further evidence that sleep quality predicts subsequent IBS symptoms, but not the converse. The findings from this small study support the importance of additional longitudinal research to further understand the relationships between sleep and IBS.”
The scientists recruited women with IBS between the ages of 18 and 45 and asked them to fulfill sleep and IBS symptom diaries for one menstrual cycle, and wore Actiwatch-64 actigraphs for 7 days at home. The data was then analyzed using generalized estimating equation (GEE) models.
The study revealed sleep quality significance in the prediction of next-day abdominal pain, anxiety, and fatigue. However, it did not suggest any link with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms or depressed mood. On the other hand, actigraphic sleep efficiency (SEF) significantly predicted worsening next-day anxiety and fatigue, but not abdominal pain, GI symptoms, or depressed mood.
This new research joins mounting evidence that sleep disturbances and disorders have an impact on disease progression. In related news, the underlying cause of fatigue experienced by multiple sclerosis (MS) patients may be undiagnosed sleep disorders, according to a study conducted at the Department of Neurology of the University of California.