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Volume 36, issue 1

Review article

Sleep disorders in patients with multiple sclerosis

Karolina Katarelos1, Agnieszka Piechal1,2, Iwona Kurkowska-Jastrzębska1
1. 2nd Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology
2. Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Warsaw, Center for Preclinical Research and Technology
Farmakoterapia w Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2020, 36 (1), 41–57
Date of publication: 25-06-2020
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, obstructive sleep apnea, sleep disorders, restless legs syndrome, circadian activity rhythm


Sleep disorders is a common problem that patients report to their doctor. They can accompany many mental and somatic disorders or be primary. There are many types of sleep disorders; most commonly, they are associated with problems with falling asleep and maintaining sleep continuity, or more complex disorders, such as parasomnias, breathing disorders and movement disorders associated with sleep. In the following work, we have focused on sleep problems in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). These patients more often than healthy people of the same age complain about sleep disorders and these dis­orders increase with the progress of the disease and the appearance of other symptoms. Depressed mood, chronic fatigue, pain and urinary problems significantly affect the quality of sleep in patients with MS. On the other hand, excessive sleepiness and trouble with falling asleep intensify the feeling of fatigue, which is a major problem and impair cognitive functions. However, sleep-related symptoms are often overlooked during medical visits due to other symptoms of multiple sclerosis, especially those causing motor disability. The treatment of sleep disorders in patients with MS is based on basic methods used in the general population. In the treatment of sleep disorders in patients with multiple sclerosis, appropriate disease modifying therapy is also important.

Address for correspondence:
Karolina Katarelos
Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii, II Klinika Neurologiczna
ul. Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warszawa