Semin Neurol 2005; 25(1): 64-68
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-867075
Copyright © 2005 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Sleep Disorders in Multiple Sclerosis

W. Elon Fleming1 , Charles P. Pollak2
  • 1Sleep Disorders Center, Island Hospital, Anacortes, Washington
  • 2Sleep Laboratory, Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
29 March 2005 (online)


Sleep disorders are pervasive in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) although clinically underrecognized by most physicians. The most common sleep disorders seen in patients with MS include insomnia, nocturnal movement disorders, sleep-disordered breathing, narcolepsy, and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. Factors that influence the quality of sleep in this patient population include pain, nocturia, depression, medication effect, location of lesions, and disease severity. Disrupted sleep has the potential to cause daytime somnolence, increased fatigue, and nonrefreshing sleep, and it may be associated with dangerous respiratory events. Awareness and treatment of these conditions is vital to improving health and quality of life in patients with MS.


W. Elon Fleming, M.D. 

Medical Director, Sleep Disorders Center, Island Hospital

1211 24th Street, Anacortes, WA 98221