Sleep Abnormalities in Multiple Sclerosis

Giorgos K. Sakkas, Christoforos D. Giannaki, Christina Karatzaferi, Mauro Manconi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of review: This review summarizes the most well-documented sleep disorders seen in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), with a special focus on the impact on quality of life. Recent findings: Sleep abnormalities in patients with MS are a multifactorial and relatively complex issue affecting approximately 60% of the patients while the pathophysiology of these symptoms is not fully understood. Circadian rhythm disorders and increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines have been recognized as potential players in affecting sleep homeostasis in MS patients. Medication-related side effects such as in immunotherapy and other factors such as lesion load can contribute to the disruption of normal sleep patterns. Summary: Most frequently encountered sleep disorders are insomnia, sleep-related movement disorders, sleep-related breathing disorders, and circadian rhythm disorders affecting both adults and paediatric MS populations. Aetiology still remains unknown with treatment options focusing on behavioural cognitive therapy and lifestyle modification including improvement in sleep hygiene as well as melatonin supplementation. Given MS prevalence is still rising affecting millions of people, more personalized medicine applications should possibly form the key approach for improving patients’ quality of life and quality years.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Circadian
  • Fatigue
  • Immune-mediated diseases
  • Melatonin
  • Quality of life
  • Survival


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