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85% of people with MS experience insomnia

Insomnia is playing an unwelcome part in the lives of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), with 85% of MSers experiencing sleeplessness, according to research from social network and charity for people with MS, Shift.ms.

A survey also found that 79% of MSers experience sleeplessness every week, and this in turn is having a substantial impact on their health and wellbeing, as well as exacerbating their MS symptoms.

Three quarters of survey respondents told Shift.ms that sleeplessness is having an impact on their mental health and wellbeing, while 84% believe it impacts their day-to-day life.

Following this survey and based on recurring conversations between members on the www.Shift.ms social network, the charity has created ‘Awake’, a storytelling film that explores the perspective of those experiencing both insomnia and a neurological condition.

The film was created using real-life phone calls from people living with MS and experiencing insomnia. Shift.ms set up a phone line that could be called throughout the night, with filmmaker Matan Rochlitz on hand to answer each phone call personally. The calls resulted in some emotional, authentic and surprising stories being shared.

“A diagnosis of MS can leave people to live a life full of uncertainty about their condition and future,” explains George Pepper, CEO and founder of Shift.ms. “This uncertainty can lead to lack of sleep that can have a serious impact on MSers, often going unrecognised by health professionals, heightening symptoms and having a negative impact on MSers’ quality of life. MS symptoms themselves can cause insomnia. It’s a vicious, exhausting circle.

Consultant Neurologist Dr Helen Ford says, “It’s really important for people with MS to try to have good sleep hygiene including having a regular bed time routine and trying strategies to wind down before preparing for sleep.”

Watch ‘Awake’ by visiting YouTube.com/Shiftms and join the social network for MSers at shift.ms

Insomnia is playing an unwelcome part in the lives of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), with 85% of MSers experiencing sleeplessness, according to research from social network and charity for people with MS, Shift.ms.

A survey also found that a staggering 79% of MSers experience sleeplessness every week, and this in turn is having a substantial impact on their health and wellbeing, as well as exacerbating their MS symptoms.

Three quarters of survey respondents told Shift.ms that sleeplessness is having an impact on their mental health and wellbeing, while 84% believe it impacts their day-to-day life.

Following this survey and based on recurring conversations between members on the www.Shift.ms social network, the charity has created ‘Awake’, a storytelling film that explores the perspective of those experiencing both insomnia and a neurological condition.

The film was created using real-life phone calls from people living with MS and experiencing insomnia. Shift.ms set up a phone line that could be called throughout the night, with filmmaker Matan Rochlitz on hand to answer each phone call personally. The calls resulted in some emotional, authentic and surprising stories being shared.

“A diagnosis of MS can leave people to live a life full of uncertainty about their condition and future,” explains George Pepper, CEO and founder of Shift.ms. “This uncertainty can lead to lack of sleep that can have a serious impact on MSers, often going unrecognised by health professionals, heightening symptoms and having a negative impact on MSers’ quality of life. MS symptoms themselves can cause insomnia. It’s a vicious, exhausting circle.

Consultant Neurologist Dr Helen Ford says, “It’s really important for people with MS to try to have good sleep hygiene including having a regular bed time routine and trying strategies to wind down before preparing for sleep.”

Watch ‘Awake’ by visiting YouTube.com/Shiftms and join the social network for MSers at shift.ms

Source: MS-UK 07 Febrauary 2020

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