Getting enough sleep is important, especially when managing fatigue


Sleep hygiene refers to ways you can improve the quality of the sleep and rest that you get so that you wake up feeling well rested. People with MS can have difficulty getting enough sleep, due to things such as anxiety or stress, increased napping during the day to help with fatigue, or because of pain such as MS leg pain, back pain or hip pain.

 

icon_moon_starTips for improving your sleep hygiene:1,2

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants prior to bedtime
  • Have a regular sleep/wake pattern – e.g. going to bed and getting up at a similar time each day
  • Try calming activities before bedtime such as mindfulness techniques or meditation to help get calm
  • Have a comfortable and calm place for sleep, including ensuring the temperature is controlled and comfortable
  • Manage pain such as MS leg pain or hip pain – massage and pain medications can help

 

  • Avoid looking at screens before bed, avoid charging your phone next to your bed, or consider using the “do not disturb feature” to silence any notifications
  • Avoid late night foods, especially those high in sugar or fat, and eat smaller portions if possible
  • Exercise during the day
  • Limit your naps to 30 minutes at a time if possible

References:

  • MS Australia. Living with fatigue. https://www.msaustralia.org.au/living-with-ms/expert-blog/ready-nap-desk-way (last updated 8 March 2017).
  • Multiple sclerosis.net. 10 sleep hygiene tips for people with MS. https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/10-sleep-hygiene-tips/ (last updated 9 July 2018).