February 2, 2017 | News | Living with MS

A good night’s sleep is important to maintain daily functioning

Most people with multiple sclerosis say their sleep is so poor that they can’t think or plan effectively, according to a new study of over a hundred people with MS (Hughes and colleagues. J Sleep Res 2017; epublished January 17, 2017).

The study looked at a sample of people enrolled in a clinical trial. About two-thirds experienced poor-quality sleep. People who reported that they slept badly said that waking up feeling unrefreshed impaired their ability to think clearly the next day. The most common areas affected were the ability to plan and organize, and remembering to do things that had been planned (called prospective memory), such as writing that email or picking up some milk at the store.

These perceived impairments in thinking ability occurred independently of other factors that are known to affect mental function, such as depression, MS fatigue and physical disabilities.

These findings suggest that a good night’s rest can have a major impact on a person’s confidence, quality of life, and ability to function day-to-day.

To learn more about this topic, click here to read our booklet, Sleep & MS, part of the MS Essentials series. The booklet was developed by MS specialist nurses, is available in English and French, and is free to download.

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