Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys myelin, a membrane that covers axons in the brain and spinal cord. Myelin serves both to protect axons and to speed the conduction of electrical impulses along nerve fibers. The destruction of myelin results in scarring and loss of nerve cells.
People who have MS may experience weakness, trouble with balance and coordination, problems speaking and walking, paralysis, tremors, and numbness in the extreme.
Poor Sleep Quality with MS
More than half of people with MS experience difficulty sleeping. Spasticity is a common symptom of MS, which is characterized by muscles becoming tight and sometimes even rigid. Spasticity can be very uncomfortable or even painful and this pain can interfere with sleep.
Symptoms of sleep interruption amongst people with MS include:
- Fatigue (the most common)
- Daytime drowsiness
- Reduced cognitive aptitude & lack of mental clarity
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Depression & early morning awakening
- Restless leg syndrome / nocturnal leg spasms
There are a variety of medications that can help patients manage symptoms, treat flare-ups, modify the course of the MS, and improve function. However, you need to carefully consider the side effects of medications
Without enough sleep, fatigue can become a big problem.
If you are not sleeping well at night, finding solutions to your sleep problems is well worth the effort, so you can get a better quality and increased quantity of sleep.
You will find many advertisements on TV for sleep aids, and they all show a person refreshed in the morning. Most people who use “sleeping pills” do not wake up refreshed; instead, they wake up feeling drowsy. Also remember that the benefits of sleeping pills is short term.