Objectives/background: Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a disabling facial pain syndrome with a high prevalence of insomnia that primarily affects women. Insomnia with objective short sleep duration (ISSD) is an emerging phenotype linked to cardiometabolic morbidity and increased mortality. The present report examines the association of ISSD on clinical and laboratory pain and systemic inflammation in TMD. Methods: We collected baseline data from 128 women with TMD and insomnia as part of a clinical trial evaluating psychological interventions for sleep and pain. Participants completed self-report questionnaires, one-night polysomnography, a two-week actigraphy assessment, quantitative sensory testing (QST) to assess cold pain tolerance, pain sensitivity and central sensitization and circulating Interleukin-6 levels were measured to assess systemic inflammation. Results: 24.2% (n = 31) of the sample met criteria for ISSD [polysomnography (sleep duration <6 h)]. Compared to those with insomnia and normal sleep duration, ISSD were older (40.4 vs. 34.9,p < 0.05) and a greater proportion self-identified as Black (48.4% vs 11.3%,p < 0.001). Multivariate regressions revealed that ISSD endorsed higher self-report pain severity and functional limitation of the jaw. ISSD also demonstrated increased generalized pain sensitivity, enhanced central sensitization, cold pressor tolerance and higher resting interleukin-6 levels. Conclusions: This is the first study to characterize the ISSD phenotype in a chronic pain sample and expand the scope of its negative health outcomes to chronic pain. ISSD may be an important chronic pain phenotype associated with a more severe clinical and laboratory pain profile, and future studies should focus on implications for treatment response and disease trajectory. Clinical trial: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01794624.
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