SEATTLE – Future behavioral interventions for improving sleep in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) should focus on sedentary behavior and light physical activity, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers. , said the researchers.
Sleep quality generally decreases with age. Among patients with MS, the prevalence of sleep problems increases threefold with age. Although data indicate that physical activity has many benefits for patients with MS, little research has examined the relationships between physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep quality across the lifespan in this population.
Katie L.J. Cederberg, a doctoral student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues recruited 127 adults with MS representing three age groups into a study. In all, 42 participants were younger (aged 20-39 years), 44 were middle-aged (40-59 years), and 41 were older (60-79 years). Participants completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Patient-Determined Disease Steps (PDDS) scale. Each participant also wore an accelerometer for 7 days. Ms. Cederberg and colleagues analyzed the accelerometer data to determine the time per day that participants spent in light physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and sedentary behavior using MS-specific cutpoints.
Compared with younger adults, older adults had significantly lower PSQI global scores and reported more frequent use of sleeping medications. Compared with middle-aged adults, older adults had significantly higher disability levels and spent significantly less time in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. In addition, among older adults, sleep latency was negatively associated with time spent in light physical activity, and clinical disability was inversely associated with time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
In younger adults, habitual sleep efficiency was inversely associated with time spent in sedentary behavior. The researchers found no significant associations between these variables in middle-aged adults.
SOURCE: Cederberg KLJ et al. CMSC 2019. Abstract DXA05.