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Physical Activity and Sleep in Multiple Sclerosis

September 7, 2017

Insomnia and daytime sleepiness is increased in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). About a third of the people with MS use sleeping pills 2 to 3 times a week to help them with this. It has been proved that physical activity helps treat insomnia, as well as benefits MS patients. Physical activity fortifies circadian rhythms that promote daytime alertness and help bring on sleepiness at night.

A new study was published in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, volume 12, 2017, which recorded 60 MS patients that suffered from sleep disorders. Researchers investigated the relationship between physical activity and sleep characteristics in MS patients. Sleep characteristics were assessed using the Actisleep device while physical activity levels were assessed using mobility accelerometer. The study found that moderate physical activity was positively correlated with sleep quality. Interestingly, results showed that light activity showed a negative correlation and vigorous activity showed no correlation. Overall, moderate physical activity proved beneficial for MS patients with sleep disorders.