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Rest assured: DMTs won’t disrupt your sleep

25 October 2023

  • People with MS, whether they use different types of DMTs or not, report similar sleep difficulties.
  • Timing of treatment and treatment adherence is not related to sleep difficulties.
  • Beliefs about DMTs making sleep worse can be related to poorer daily functioning.

Exploring Sleep Quality:

Living with MS can present unique experiences, and one common issue many people with MS face is poor sleep.

Researchers in Australia conducted a study to investigate whether disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), often used to manage MS, have any effect on sleep quality.

They also explored how people’s beliefs about DMTs and sleep problems relate to their daily functioning.

What Did the Researchers Do?

In this study, MS Australia-funded researchers set out to understand the connection between DMTs and sleep quality in people with MS.

They collected data from 1,715 individuals from the Australian MS Longitudinal Study (AMSLS) who completed the MS Nurses and Sleep Survey in 2020 (The AMSLS is a large population-based study with ∼3000 active participants with MS).

The researchers assessed their sleep quality using two standard tools: the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Participants also provided information about their DMT use and how they perceived their daily functioning.

What Did the Researchers Find?

Interestingly, the researchers found no significant differences in sleep quality between individuals who used DMTs and those who did not. This suggests that DMTs themselves do not appear to directly affect sleep outcomes.

The researchers also looked at whether the type of DMT (lower vs higher efficacy, interferon-β vs other DMTs) or the timing of DMT administration had any impact on sleep quality. However, they did not find any significant associations in these areas.

One of the most important findings was that people who believed that DMT use worsened their sleep quality tended to have poorer sleep and felt that sleep problems interfered with their daily functioning. This highlights how our beliefs about medications can influence our perception of their effects.

What Does This Mean for People with MS?

This study provides valuable insights into the complex relationship between MS, DMTs, and sleep.

If you are currently taking DMTs to manage your MS, it’s reassuring to know that these medications do not appear to directly impact sleep quality.

Beliefs and perceptions about DMTs can play a significant role in how you experience their effects. If you think that DMTs are negatively affecting your sleep, it’s essential to discuss this with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance and help address any concerns you may have.

Open communication with healthcare providers, along with education and support, can help people with MS manage their condition more effectively and improve their overall quality of life.

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Rest assured: DMTs won’t disrupt your sleep