Poor sleep and multiple sclerosis: associations with symptoms of multiple sclerosis and quality of life

Laura L. Laslett, Cynthia Honan, Jason A. Turner, Baye Dagnew, Julie A. Campbell, Tiffany K. Gill, Sarah Appleton, Leigh Blizzard, Bruce V. Taylor, Ingrid Van Der Mei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Sleep difficulties are common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), but whether associations between poor sleep quality and quality of life are independent of MS symptoms, obesity and other MS-related factors remains unclear. 

Methods: Cross-sectional analyses of data from the Australian MS Longitudinal Study (n=1717). Sleep was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale and International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group Rating Scale; health-related quality of life using the Assessment of Quality-of-Life 8-D. 

Results: Poor sleep quality was common (67%), and more common than in community samples. Sleep measures clustered independently within MS symptoms. The clusters 'fatigue and cognitive', 'feelings of anxiety and depression', 'pain and sensory', were independently associated with poor sleep quality. Quality-of-Life utility scores were a clinically meaningful 0.19 units lower in those with poor sleep. Sleep quality, daytime sleepiness and restless leg syndrome were associated with reduced quality of life, independent of MS-related symptoms and body mass index. 

Conclusion: Poor sleep quality is common in MS and was strongly associated with worse health-related quality of life, independent of other MS symptoms and did not cluster with other common MS symptoms. Improving sleep quality may substantially improve quality of life in people with MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1162-1165
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number11
Early online date27 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Quality of life
  • Sleep


Dive into the research topics of 'Poor sleep and multiple sclerosis: associations with symptoms of multiple sclerosis and quality of life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this