When they performed sleep studies of 343 people meeting the Fukuda definition of ME/CFS, they found that 104 – nearly a third – had a primary sleep disorder that explained their symptoms, and thus didn’t have ME/CFS at all. A 1/3 misdiagnosis rate is enough of a reason to look more closely for sleep disorders. In those who didn’t have primary sleep disorders, just under 90% met the criteria for at least one measurable sleep problem. Researchers identified four different groups based on sleep abnormalities. They were: Group 1: Slower to get to sleep, delayed Rapid Eye Movement (REM), lower percentages of stage 2 and REM sleep; Group 2: More frequent awakenings; Group 3: Longer total sleep time, less delayed REM sleep, higher percentage of REM sleep, lower percentage of wake time; Group 4: Shortest total sleep time, highest percentage of wake time after sleep onset. Researchers concluded that doctors need to routinely screen for sleep disorders when considering an ME/CFS diagnosis, and that they should use sleep studies to identify sleep problems and tailor treatments to the specific groups. What kind of sleep problems do you have?
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Sleep disorders: Understanding and curing
We identified a repressor protein in the clock and found that by removing this protein, the brain clock function was surprisingly improved, explains Dr. Sonenberg. Because all mammals have similar circadian clocks, the team used mice to conduct their experiments. They studied mice that lacked this specific protein, known as 4E-BP1, which blocks the important function of protein synthesis. They found that the mice that lacked this protein overcame disruptions to their circadian clocks more quickly.
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Putting Sleep Disorders to Bed
Abnormal sleep-related behaviours like walking, talking, eating, sex, violence and so on are not that common, according to El-Ajhouri, but awareness is also important as they may be particularly common for example during childhood. Sleep terrors, bedwetting, and sleepwalking are common genetic problems in children that run in families. Sexual behaviour (sexsomnia) or violent behaviour during sleep is a recent concern in forensic medicine, which in Egypt are mostly recorded in drug addicts undergoing treatment. Simple steps “The power of deep sleep is enormous for countering stress and boosting immunity,” agrees Abdel Hadi Mesbah, professor of immunology and professor of the American Academy of Immunology. “We always advise finding out the reason that is keeping you awake as a first step, and if you find out that the problem is not true insomnia which needs treatment, certain measures can prove useful.” Hadi Mesbah advises sufferers to orient their sleeping position so that their head points to the north and feet to the south, as this comes in harmony with the magnetic field of the earth, providing the body with maximum energy, and helps to achieve a higher level of comfort and relaxation. He also stresses the importance of not going to bed unless you have the urge to sleep, and if you are not asleep after thirty minutes, engaging in some other activity that is soothing and relaxing. Other tips offered include: setting a fixed time for getting into and out of bed and not using the bed for anything except for sleeping, for example reading or watching television.
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