Insomnia is one of the most commonly reported symptoms among patients with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia. “Unrefreshing sleep” is included in both the Canadian Consensus Criteria and the International Consensus Criteria for ME and is one of the key symptoms of FM. Researchers have found that in both illnesses, as in many autoimmune diseases, frequent wakings (alpha spikes) lead to feeling unrefreshed, fatigued, and distressed in the morning. Most of these wakings occur during the first hours of sleep, which is why so many patients report that they get their best sleep during the morning hours.
Sleep problems are highly variable. They can range from sleeping too little to sleeping too much, from nightmares to dreamlessness, from not being able to fall asleep for hours, to not being able to fully wake up in the morning. No matter which form the disruption takes, the quality of sleep is poor, making insomnia one of the top priorities for specialists who treat these illnesses.
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