How are you sleeping?

4 June 2020

Accordingly to the BBC, 50% of people are struggling to sleep at the moment. The MS Trust website says that many people with MS experience disturbed sleep.

The MS Trust sleep page says:

"Despite this being well known, sleep disorders are under-diagnosed and under-treated in people with MS.

Poor sleep quality and quantity can impact on daily life, causing daytime sleepiness, decreased concentration and memory, worsening depression, and the inability to work effectively. A lack of sleep can also lead to low energy levels or make pain,  fatigue, and other symptoms of MS much worse.

The types of sleep problems that you may experience include difficulty falling asleep, difficulty maintaining sleep (such as waking up during the night or not being able to fall back asleep immediately) and early wakening.

Speak to your GP or MS team if sleep problems are affecting you. There may be treatments that can help. By addressing the causes of poor sleep quality and establishing good daily sleep habits, you may find you can greatly improve your overall energy levels and quality of life.

Sleep quality can be improved by establishing regular habits or good 'sleep hygiene':

  • try to stay as physically active as possible during the day, but allow plenty of time to wind down before bedtime
  • avoid getting overtired by doing too much, as being too tired can make it difficult to get to sleep
  • ensure some daily exposure to sunlight and avoid bright lights in the evening
  • avoid unnecessary stress or stimulants (eg caffeine, chocolate, alcohol) in the late afternoon and evening
  • keep the same nightly ritual every day throughout the week
  • establish a bedtime routine that can include, for example, relaxation, a warm 'milky' drink, taking a warm bath
  • only use the bed as a place for sleeping, not for other activities such as watching TV
  • instead of lying in bed awake, after 15 minutes of not sleeping get out of bed and do something calming or boring, and return after a short period of time
  • avoid getting too hot; although some people find having cold feet can also disturb sleep"

 

Visit the MS Trust Sleep page here

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