Too little sleep could mean more asthma attacks

A good night’s sleep is crucial to good health.

In a new study, researchers found that too little sleep, and occasionally too much sleep, can negatively impact people with asthma.

Previous research has revealed that poor sleep quality has a negative effect on asthma symptoms in adolescents.

The study surveyed 1,389 adults who were 20 years and older who self-identified as having asthma. Of the group, 25.9 percent slept 5 hours or less, 65.9 percent slept 6-8 hours and 8.2 percent slept 9 or more hours.

Sleep duration was measured by a single question, “How much sleep do you usually get at night on weekdays or workdays?” “Short sleepers” were more likely to be younger and non-White, while “long sleepers” were more likely to be older, female, and a smoker.

The team found short sleepers, as compared to normal sleepers, had a greater likelihood of an asthma attack, dry cough, and an overnight hospitalization during the past year.

Short sleepers also had a much worse health-related quality of life — including days of poor physical and mental health and inactive days due to poor health — and more frequent general healthcare use during the past year as compared to normal sleepers.

The odds for long sleepers to have some activity limitation due to wheezing was higher when compared to normal sleepers.

Compared to normal sleepers, short and long sleepers also had more days with impaired health-related quality of life.

Impaired quality of life was characterized by more days of poor physical and mental health.

The team says that disturbed sleep in an asthma patient can be a red flag indicating their asthma isn’t well-controlled.

This study adds solid evidence to the practice of asthma patients discussing sleep issues with their allergist to help determine if they need to change their asthma plan to achieve adequate sleep as a component of overall good asthma management.

It also warns that consequences can be expected when sleep patterns are chronically inadequate.

The lead author of the study is Faith Luyster, Ph.D.

The study is published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

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