Children with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) often suffer from sleep disorders, which cause many physiological and psychological problems. Understanding sleep characteristics in children with CFS is important for establishing a therapeutic strategy. We conducted an actigraphic study to clarify the problems in sleep/wake rhythm and physical activity in children with CFS. [An actigraph is a wearable electronic device that is used to measure and store data on activity/sleep patterns over time.]
Methods. Actigraphic recordings were performed for 1-2 weeks in 12 CFS children. The obtained data were compared with those of healthy age-matched children used as the control.
Results. Sleep patterns were divided into two groups based on subjects’ sleep logs: irregular sleep type and delayed sleep phase type.
Compared to the control group, total sleep time was longer and physical activity was lower in both groups of CFS.
Continuous sleep for more than 10 hours was not uncommon in CFS. In the irregular sleep type, impaired daily sleep/wake rhythms and disrupted sleep were observed.
Conclusion. Using actigraphy, we could identify several characteristics of the sleep patterns in CFS children.
Actigraphic analysis proved to be useful in detecting sleep/wake problems in children with CFS.
Source: Brain and Development. 2007 Nov 19; [E-pub ahead of print] PMID: 18031961, by Ohinata J, Suzuki N, Araki A, Takahashi S, Fujieda K, Tanaka H. Department of Pediatrics, Asahikawa Medical College, Japan