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To beat MS, sleep enough but not too much February 13, 2009

Posted by Rebecca Hoover in Sleep - how much you need to beat MS, Uncategorized.
7 to 8 hours of sleep are needed each night as well as a nap during the day if needed.  Also, get extra bed during a relapse to help resolve symptoms.

7 to 8 hours of sleep are needed each night as well as a nap during the day if needed. Also, extra bed rest during a relapse helps resolve symptoms.

Studies show that those with MS who get enough sleep have fewer symptoms and fewer relapses! Those who do not get enough sleep suffer from more MS symptoms and their disease progresses more quickly. You can use this knowledge to prevent disability and keep MS symptoms at bay. So how much sleep is enough?

Many studies have shown that even those without MS require 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Even those without MS develop problems with cognition (thinking) and coordination when they have less sleep than this for more than a few days. For those with MS, a lack of sleep can trigger a relapse and a worsening of symptoms. For this reason, experts recommend those with MS get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Also, experts recommend that those with MS take a nap (up to 2 hours) during the day, if needed.

If you are having a relapse, you can help the symptoms resolve most quickly by getting additional bed rest! Rest, rest, rest! At times, I have spent as much as 12 to 16 hours per day getting bed best to resolve symptoms. I slept part of this time and I also used this time to read, work on my computer projects, etc. Now that I follow a healthy living program, the need for extra bed rest has not been necessary for a long time.

Ah, sleep, where the gods send us messages from our hearts! Be sure to get enough sleep.

You may wonder why sleep is so important. It seems that even one night of only 4 hours of sleep increases the body’s inflammatory response. An increase in inflammation is, however, is the last think you want if you have MS because inflammation makes MS worse.

If you are having problems sleeping, think about adding some exercise to your daily routine. Research shows exercise helps you sleep soundly. A walk or other exercise will help. (See my post on exercise.) Also, think about a light snack before going to bed. I often have a small bowl of rice and some nonfat milk before going to bed — that makes me feel contented and ready to sleep. Finally, think about getting some sunshine. Some scientists report that only 20 minutes a day of sunshine exposure will help you sleep soundly at night.

Please let me know if you find my blog helpful. Please add a comment. What did you like? What would you like added? Thanks! Together we can change the way the world views MS. Please also join the Intelligent Guide to MS page on Facebook. I will use that page to make timely posts on new research and other issues likely to be of interest to others.

Please remember to consult with your doctors about how to stay as healthy as possible. Nothing here should be interpreted as medical advice. Instead, please use the information you find here in your discussions with your doctor.

Copyright 2008 Rebecca Hoover

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Tags: Beat, MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Sleep, Fatigue



1. Dave Kaye - February 14, 2009


Your post begins “Studies show…” Do you know which studies, exactly?


2. Rebecca Hoover - February 14, 2009

Thanks for your post. Yes, I did identify specific studies. I do not post citations on this web site, however, because of the space required to do so. The book I wrote does have citations but publication of it has been delayed. If you search PubMed, the abstract data base for health sciences in the USA, you will find a number of studies relating to MS and sleep.

Also, you might find some searches on the topic of sleep to be revealing.

Good luck!

3. Zooey - September 9, 2009

This article was very informative and entertaining to read. It helped me a lot in learning more about MS which one of my good friends is suffering from. Now, he gets the right amount of sleep he needs thanks to the advice I got from you. Thank you so much and more power to your website.

Zooey How Much Guide

4. Rebecca Hoover - September 9, 2009


Thanks for the feedback. It is always nice to hear that this web site is helping others reclaim their health! An ultra healthy life style goes a long way in beating MS symptoms. Those I know who follow an ultra healthy life style have only minor MS symptoms and are able to live normal lives. Getting enough sleep is part of the equation.


5. Evelynne McCormick - April 5, 2010

I have only had one very bad attack for which I was hospitalised. I recovered with physio and bed rest without steroids. My then consultant said he would keep a bed for me as it was obvious sleep had healed me. I never needed his ward bed again as I rested and slept a lot whenever I needed to. I walk so much better after a sleep!

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