[JvR: because Chronic Insomnia (involvement of the HPA-Axis) is a symptom of ME/CFS this article may be interesting]

For Immediate Release
Contact: Marisa Kessel

Chronic Insomnia Shown to be a Medical Condition,
Not Just Loss of Sleep

Bethesda, MD, August 10, 2001 - New research shows that insomnia, the most commonly encountered sleep disorder, may be the results of a physiological problem, rather than just sleep loss. A study published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reveals that insomniacs suffer from a specific medical condition, which results from a sustained arousal and activation of the stress system. The findings could help doctors understand why patients suffer from insomnia and also how to effectively treat insomniacs.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University and the National Institute of Child Health and Development studied the sleep patterns of 11 insomniacs-both men and women-and 13 healthy controls, in a sleep laboratory for four consecutive nights. The researchers monitored the ACTH and cortisol levels during the fourth day of the study. The study found that insomniacs experience significantly higher ACTH and cortisol secretion, especially in the evening and first half of the night.

"We found that the insomniacs with the highest degree of sleep disturbance secreted the highest amount of cortisol, particularly in the evening and nighttime hours," said Dr. Alexandros Vgontzas, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University and the lead investigator on the study. "This means that insomniacs are experiencing hormonal changes in their bodies, which prevents them from sleeping. Basically, people who secrete the most hormones, experience the greatest amount of sleep disturbances."

Based on the results, the researchers concluded that insomnia is associated with an overall increase of ACTH and cortisol secretion. These new findings associate insomnia with a disorder of the central nervous system, which could put insomniacs at risk for significant medical morbidity, in addition to several mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

"This finding suggests that simple methods of measuring sleep time, such as actigraphy, which is a form of sleep measurement, may be useful to physicians in assessing the severity of chronic insomnia and also in appropriately treating the disorder," said Dr. Vgontzas. "This information could help doctors who are treating insomniacs refocus their therapeutic goals. Instead of aiming to simply improve nighttime sleep, doctors may now work to decrease the levels of physiologic arousal."

JCEM is one of four journals published by The Endocrine Society. Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest, and most active organization devoted to research on hormones, and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society's membership consists of over 9,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students, in more than 80 countries. Together, these members represent all basic, applied, and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Bethesda, Maryland. To learn more about the Society, and the field of endocrinology, visit the Society's web site at www.endo-society.org.

Full text of the article
Chronic Insomnia Is Associated with Nyctohemeral Activation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis: Clinical Implications:

Dear God Cute letters written by kids to God. This is cute & may help you get a laugh which may help you get your mind off of today's troubles.

A Few Words of Wisdom Another cute page which will also lighten your heart.

Co-Cure Web site: http://www.co-cure.org/
Send posts to mailto:CO-CURE@listserv.nodak.edu
Join or leave the list at http://www.co-cure.org/sub.htm
Co-Cure is not a discussion list. Please do not reply to the list.