Sleep disorders seem to be part of the underlying disease process in M.E., probably because the brain’s control mechanisms for sleep are affected.
Problems can also occur as a result of other symptoms or factors in M.E. For example, you might be kept awake at night by muscle pain or worry.
This can create a vicious circle where lack of sleep worsens symptoms and reduces your ability to cope with the illness.
Sleep difficulties common to people with M.E. include:
- insomnia or difficulty getting to sleep
- light, dreamy, restless sleep (excessive REM sleep, where REM means ‘rapid eye movement’)
- interrupted sleep, waking up repeatedly during the night
- unrefreshing sleep
- hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness or sleep lasting for very long periods)
- sleep reversal (eg. sleeping from 4am till midday).
You may also find that your particular sleep problems change over time.
There are a number of ways of managing sleep problems.