Scientists who conducted research into how physical activity impacts depression and sleep in people with MS found a positive effect on their physiological function and sleep.
There is growing evidence that regular physical activity has a favourable effect on psychological functioning and sleep. However, with regards to patients with MS, evidence is still scarce.
A total of 14 patients (mean age about 40 years; EDSS: 2-5) took part in this longitudinal and four week intervention study. At baseline and four weeks later, patients completed self-rating scores covering depression, mental toughness and subjective sleep. Further, sleep was assessed via sleep-EEG-recordings at both time points. Patients had physical activity programs every weekday for one to four hours.
Compared to baseline, at the end of the study symptoms of depression and sleep complaints decreased. Objective sleep onset latency decreased, slow wave sleep increased and the number of awakenings decreased, resulting in a more stable objective sleep.
The scientists concluded that in patients with MS, regular physical activity has the potential to impact positively on psychological functioning and both subjective and objective sleep.