What Can I Do to Sleep Better?

Read Transcript

There is several different causes of sleep disorders associated with MS and so it's important to know why somebody is not sleeping. Sometimes it poor sleep hygiene, meaning they are looking at their computer right up until the last minute or they are watching TV right up until the last minute, and so that light and that simulation actually prevents the secretion of melatonin in their body and the normal chemicals that help you to go to sleep. Many MS patients have urinary incontinence meaning that they are having to urinate multiple times and so if they are drinking a large amount of water an hour and half before they go to bed then they have to wake up, and so that's why they are not going to sleep.

But sometimes it's just simply things that you are doing in other parts of the day, caffeine for example. Even if you're drinking it earlier on in the day can disrupt our sleep. Sometimes it's related to things like stress meaning as soon as I close my eyes all I start to think about, is all the things I have to do tomorrow, or all of the things went wrong today. So then we will focus on, alright what can we do to start to improve your stress?

There's also a window of opportunity to get the best sleep, and this are things that we are not traditionally taught in medicine. What are the normal cycles of the body? So going to bed after 10 PM actually makes it much more difficult to go asleep. Going to bed before 10 PM is much easier and it's because you have this what we call biological clock, meaning that your body gets ready for a sleep efficient in terms of its biochemistry, and so if you miss that mark, most people experience that second wind, a sudden increase in energy, and once you're in that second wind phenomena, it's just harder to go to sleep.

So it just depends, what are the contributing factors for sleeping, and then you start to address one after another.