Background: The etiology and pathophysiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) remain inchoate. Attempts to elucidate the pathophysiology must consider sleep physiology, as unrefreshing sleep is the most commonly reported of the 8 case-defining symptoms of CFS. Although published studies have consistently reported inefficient sleep and documented a variable occurrence of previously undiagnosed primary sleep disorders, they have not identified characteristic disturbances in sleep architecture or a distinctive pattern of polysomnographic abnormalities associated with CFS. Methods: This study recruited CFS cases and non-fatigued controls from a population based study of CFS in Wichita, Kansas. Participants spent two nights in the research unit of a local hospital and underwent overnight polysomnographic and daytime multiple sleep latency testing in order to characterize sleep architecture. Results: Approximately 18% of persons with CFS and 7% of asymptomatic controls were diagnosed with severe primary sleep disorders and were excluded from further analysis. These rates were not significantly different. Persons with CFS had a significantly higher mean frequency of obstructive apnea per hour (p = .003); however, the difference was not clinically meaningful. Other characteristics of sleep architecture did not differ between persons with CFS and controls. Conclusion: Although disordered breathing during sleep may be associated with CFS, this study generally did not provide evidence that altered.sleep architecture is a critical factor in CFS. Future studies should further scrutinize the relationship between subjective sleep quality relative to objective polysomnographic measures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology