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Sleep disruption

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.


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