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Poll: Sleep Position vs ME Severity

I sleep on my ...

  • Side, and my ME severity is high

    Votes: 12 63.2%
  • Side, and my ME severity is low

    Votes: 4 21.1%
  • Back (or front), and my ME severity is high

    Votes: 2 10.5%
  • Back (or front), and my ME severity is low

    Votes: 2 10.5%

  • Total voters
    19

Wishful

Senior Member
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I'm wondering if sleep position makes a difference in ME severity. It is possible, so maybe a poll will show some interesting results. If you know that you sometimes sleep on your side, and sometimes on your back, and consistently feel better or worse after those nights, you can enter two responses.

I didn't provide an option for people who sleep standing on their head, or who are sleeping on the space station, but feel free to mention it if you are. :alien:
 

AnnieT

Senior Member
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I am a side sleeper, I do have remission periods into mild , despite being severe at moment.

Recently I bought a side sleeper memory foam pillow I have had no neck or shoulder pain since.
 

Wolfcub

Moderator
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I think of myself as "mild/moderate" as a baseline based on what's developed over particularly the last 18 months or so. But I have some extremely nasty crashes sometimes. Having one right now. I always hope I return to baseline as I've always done before but anything could happen....

I fall asleep and apparently spend quite a good part of sleep on my back. More comfortable in that position. But wake up later on one side or the other, or back,....depends. I move in my sleep.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
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I do wonder how well we judge our sleeping positions. We are asleep at the time, after all. :sleep: I fall asleep most easily on my left side, and I usually wake up on my side, but I suppose it's possible that I spend the deep sleep period in another position and it's being on my side that wakes me up. I don't have a recording camera to check with.
 
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I completely know I only sleep on my side. One side or the other, one is preferred.

I can nap, lying on my stomach.

But can't sleep in a chair, I"m uncomfortable laying back...I think its the neck issues- I feel weirder on my back and I'm totally hoarse if I speak while lying on my back. Tend to get the lower skull neck base headache- if I lie back for long.

I can tell often I never moved what so ever from.

I'm moderate..so I did not take the survey.
 

wabi-sabi

Senior Member
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small town midwest
Sometimes when I sleep on my side it feels like my ribcage is crushing. Very uncomfortable! This also makes me sleep on my back.

Does anyone else get pain down both sides of the sternum?
 

valentinelynx

Senior Member
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I can only sleep on my back because any other position makes something hurt. In particular, my hips hurt if I try to lie on my side, and at least one arm would fall asleep, and my ear would be very painful. I sleep with 8 or 9 pillows that create a kind of cradle for my body. I'd describe my ME/CFS as moderate—I get out of bed for 9-10 hours per day, although I spend a couple of hours in a hot bath per day.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
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This was just a simple poll, and not many responses yet, but the results do seem significant. What triggered the question was thinking about the brain-cleansing during sleep. I wondered if it removed alpha-synuclein (yes it does). I also came across a paper showing that this flushing of waste was highest during deep sleep, and higher when sleeping on your side rather than your back. The poll results are opposite what I was expecting, but that's not bad. It might indicate a problem with the waste-flushing process; perhaps some part is working backwards. Imagine sewer pipes backflowing in your brain. :nervous:

Astrocytes are a critical link in this process: they pass waste into the glyphatic vessels through their 'feet'. Maybe inflammation is messing that up.

I'll pass a link to the poll to OMF. Someone there can judge whether the results are worth following up on with a more scientific poll among their patients. If that shows statistically significant results, it might be worth further research.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
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I found this in a paper ( https://www.networkglia.eu/en/astrocytes ):

"But one issue is undisputed: astrocytes are an essential link between neuronal activity and blood flow, which in fact is the readout of magnetic resonance tomography. Moreover, astrocytes are also responsible for local metabolic support of neurons. The postulated glucose-lactate shuttle introduced the concept that astrocytes take up glucose from the blood, convert it to lactate, release it and thus provide an energy substrate to neurons. "

I'm getting more and more suspicious about astrocytes being involved in ME. They certainly seem critical for proper brain function (you can apparently function okay without microglial cells). If the astrocytes are not functioning properly, possibly due to activation by cytokines, it seems plausible that they'd reduce 'mental energy' and the refreshing aspect of sleep, along with other brain functions.

They're also responsible for managing neural levels of potassium and glutamate, which I think some PWME have ME issues with.


Hmmm, I just realized that astrocytes act for neurons as both feeding tubes and as sewer pipes. :yuck: