Houston Area Pediatric Specialists

Independent pediatric specialists aim to serve our community. We want to share news and analysis regarding our specialties and our practices.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Asthma, Insomnia Make Each Other Worse

One of the reasons asthma can present insidiously is it may manifest more at night.   You may not awaken with obvious symptoms of breathing problems, but sleep is disrupted enough to affect daytime function.  This is a problem I see frequently in children and adolescents.  Parents are often surprised to see how effective treating asthma can be at improving sleep quality.  Dr. Susarla

Asthma, Insomnia Make Each Other Worse

If you experience breathing problems, you might need to actively treat those symptoms, or you could find that you’re being kept awake at night. According to a recent Swedish study, asthma sufferers are far more likely to suffer from insomnia than others.
The trial was a large one, with data collected from 25,610 adults in four Swedish cities. The participants were given a questionnaire that asked questions about insomnia, asthma, rhinitis, weight, height, tobacco use, and physical activity. For the purposes of the study, the researchers defined asthma as taking current medication for the condition or experiencing at least one asthma attack during the last 12 months. Of the 25,610 participants, 1,830 people were defined as being asthmatics. Here’s what the researchers found when they compared asthma and sleep quality:
• The prevalence of insomnia symptoms was significantly higher among asthmatics than non-asthmatics
• For those with nasal congestion and asthma, insomnia symptoms were worse
• The risk of insomnia increased with the severity of asthma
• Asthmatics who had three or more symptoms were more than twice as likely to suffer from insomnia
• Nasal congestion, obesity, and smoking also increased the risk of insomnia
Insomnia is a common problem among asthmatics. The researchers concluded by saying that asthmatics should treat their symptoms, including nasal congestion, to make sure that they get a good night’s sleep. Other lifestyle factors, like smoking and obesity, will also increase your chances of suffering from insomnia if you’re an asthmatic.

Read article here.

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