Very interesting article looking at the links between poor and unrefreshing sleep and ME/CFS and the efficacy of various treatments. I was particularly taken by the suggestion that there might be a link between the neuropathic pain I have, particularly at night, and my own difficulties in getting to sleep.
A recent study found that neuropathic pain activates a part of the brainstem (the locus coeruleus) that promotes wakefulness. Another study found that neuropathic pain induced the firing of serotonergic neurons, again in the brainstem, that increased wakefulness and reduced deep sleep. If these studies are correct it’s not the pain per se that’s keeping people awake, but the promotion of wakefulness by the brainstem. Bansai recently proposed brainstem problems could help explain the extraordinary debility and sensory problems often found in the most severely ill ME/CFS patients.
The full article is in Health Rising.