Recent studies suggest that individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) are at increased risk for sleep disturbances and that sleep disturbances contribute to fatigue and other chronic symptoms in MS. Although fatigue occurs commonly in people with MS, this symptom is often attributed to MS-specific pathology. Consequently, sleep disorders are often unrecognized and untreated in this population. Timely diagnosis and treatment of sleep problems in MS offer a new opportunity to ameliorate some of the daytime fatigue experienced by patients with MS. To increase this opportunity, the practitioner should be comfortable performing basic screening for common sleep complaints among patients with MS. The objectives of this review are to summarize the latest relevant data on sleep disorders in MS and offer a helpful approach to the identification and workup of the most common sleep problems in this population. Unexplored research avenues and opportunities to address important questions at the interface of sleep and MS are also discussed.
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Conflict of Interest
Eilis Ann Boudreau declares no conflict of interest.
Tiffany J. Braley receives grant support from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Sleep Medicine Foundation, and the Michigan Translation and Commercialization (MTRAC) for Life Sciences Program to conduct her research. She is principal investigator on a clinical trial that receives material support, but no financial support, from Biogen. She is site principal investigator for several industry-funded studies of MS immunotherapeutics at the University of Michigan (sponsors include Genzyme-Sanofi and Genentech-Roche) but receives no direct compensation for any of this work.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Demyelinating Disorders
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Braley, T.J., Boudreau, E.A. Sleep Disorders in Multiple Sclerosis. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 16, 50 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11910-016-0649-2