Home - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Skip to navigation Skip to content
You CAN ...
Manage Fatigue!
Many factors are involved in causing fatigue including medications you may take, sleep disturbances, and depression. In addition, abnormal nerve conduction can cause fatigue. And so can lack of exercise, which causes deconditioning. (Your muscles become weak when they are not used.) illustration
Finally, MS can cause a unique “MS fatigue” or lassitude. This type of fatigue occurs daily, worsens as the day goes on, and is often aggravated by heat.
Yes, fatigue is a difficult symptom to treat, but you CAN manage your fatigue.

How to Make the
Most of a Nap
A nap is any quiet rest period—not necessarily sleep—during daylight hours when you'd normally be awake. An occupational therapist can help you determine whether your nap schedule is helpful for your situation. Naps are helpful only if they don't interfere with your nighttime sleep.

Excerpted from "Fatigue: What You Should Know".





  • Learn energy management techniques. Consult a physical or occupational therapist!

Also of interest...
Sleep Disorders and MS: The Basic Facts

  • Prioritize. You can be realistic and responsible.
  • Pace yourself. Remember the tortoise and hare!
  • Delegate. Asking for help can be difficult but it will help conserve your energy.
  • Exercise. Sounds contradictory when you want rest! But it can increase your energy level and decrease deconditioning. Talk to your physician or rehabilitation professional about your options.
  • Use technology. Consider assistive devices. Wheels on a laundry cart. Wheels on a chair. They can both help with efficiency and mobility.
  • Take medication. Speak with your physician about what’s available for MS fatigue. Medications can be helpful, but may not be enough.
Use your healthcare team to differentiate MS fatigue from secondary causes, such as depression, pain, or an overactive bladder that is robbing you of sleep. Many secondary causes can be treated. A guided program of regular physical activity will help you manage MS fatigue.


These tips brought to you by The Heuga Center, promoting health and creating hope for people with MS for 20 years, and by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Contributing editors: Brian Hutchinson, PT, President, The Heuga Center; InsideMS Magazine.


You CAN! is brought to you with the help of The Heuga Center as a reminder that despite the challenges MS may bring, you have a whole life to live.

We encourage you to visit You CAN! regularly. Topics change every other month.


Additional Resources

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2005