Multiple sclerosis is a serious neuroinflammatory disease which affects different aspects of your body, including the way you sleep. You may have experienced physical fatigue, but also have problems with sleeping straight. It prevents us from getting a good night’s rest, which is irritating and detrimental to our health!
You might be wondering: How does this disease affect the way you sleep?
Read on as I show you what you need to know about the sleep problems that are associated with multiple sclerosis. This will help you understand what you need to do to get better sleep despite the disease.
If you’re wondering about the specific sleeping disorders and problems that are associated with multiple sclerosis, here are the following:
- Stress and Depression
Stress and depression due to being diagnosed with MS can keep you up at night. Anxiety is also a precursor to stress, which is why it’s difficult to fall asleep. Both fatigue and depression go hand-in-hand, which is why you’re tired throughout the day but can’t sleep at night. What can help is a relaxation routine or therapy by a psychologist to find proper coping mechanisms to improve your sleep.
This is a sleeping disorder which disturbs your sleep-wake cycles, which causes uncontrollable drowsiness that comes at any time. Narcolepsy is caused by autoimmune reactions, which may come from MS.
Most of the cases of narcolepsy happen because of the low levels of hypocretin, which is a neurotransmitter produced by the hypothalamus. The hypothalamic lesions and brainstem that resulted from MS are what can cause the symptoms of narcolepsy.
Related to insomnia, however, the difference is that with hypersomnia, you feel excessively exhausted throughout the day. MS patients who have hypersomnia tend to take naps throughout the day regardless of how much sleep they get the night before. It can cause deep sleeping spells during the wrong times (like at work or school), also causing anxiety and irritability. Sleep medication and a consistent sleep schedule can help remedy that.
- Periodic Limb Movements While Sleeping
This is also known as PLMS when one move involuntarily while sleeping. It can be something as small as moving your toes or even bending your knees. Because of large movements, it tends to wake you up or disturb your partner.
Unfortunately, MS medication can’t treat PLMS. However, a sleep specialist will be able to help lessen the symptoms through therapy and other specialized medications for the disorder.
This is a common sleep problem associated with those who have MS. It means that you constantly wake up in the middle of the night with a strong urge to pee. While you may not have to pee as much, you still wake up with the feeling of wanting to urinate.
What can help with this is overactive bladder medications, which calm down your bladder muscles and decrease the frequency of urinating.
- Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is one of the common and dangerous medical conditions you must watch out for. This is frequent pauses in breathing while you sleep, causing you to snore and even stop breathing throughout the night, which causes lack of oxygen.
The nerve spasms from MS are what cause sleep apnea. Because of this, it’s best to consult a doctor immediately to have it treated, preventing long-term damage to your body.
In case you suspect that you have any of these disorders, then make sure you get tested and rule out any other causes. This will help figure out what you need.
How to Resolve Sleep Problems
Doctors and hospitals will be able to provide you with the right medication to help you sleep. However, not many people would like to be dependent on sleeping pills to resolve their issues with sleeping. So besides medication, what are other ways to have you sleep soundly despite multiple sclerosis? Here are some tips to follow:
- Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
One of the best ways to sleep better is through ensuring that your body clock remains consistent. That way, your body is used to sleeping and waking up at a certain time, so you’ll be able to head to dreamland quickly without having to toss and turn. Make sure that you create a sleep schedule according to your lifestyle, allotting at least eight hours of sleep.
- Avoid Gadgets and Books Before Sleeping
The reason why I recommend you to avoid gadgets is that the blue light emitted from your phone or television inhibits melatonin production, which is what helps your sleep-wake cycle! As much as possible, avoid reading suspense books and watching thrillers, which keeps you up late at night rather than induce sleep.
- The Right Ambience
We won’t be able to sleep with the bright lights on or noise! That’s why you should consider decluttering your bedroom and make it sleep-inducing, starting with noise reduction and keeping the lights dim before you doze off. Peaceful music and the right temperature (around 21 degrees C) is best.
- Eating and Exercising Right
Last but not least, ensure that you have the right diet and proper exercise that your doctor approves. It should be high in vitamins B and D to help reduce the fatigue and provide the energy you need throughout the day. Morning exercise can also help induce sleep once it’s nighttime.
Wrapping It Up
While multiple sclerosis can change the quality of your sleep, there are things you can do to help prevent you from tossing and turning all night! It all starts with understanding the disease and why it affects our sleep or find a clinical trial at xpertdox.
Hopefully, this article on the sleep problems associated with multiple sclerosis gave you an idea on how to resolve your problems with fatigue and bed rest. So don’t wait any longer and start looking into these sleep problems and figuring out how to solve them today?