To examine the impact of sleep duration on lung function and asthma symptoms in adolescents.Methods:
Ten adolescents with asthma (60% female, 60% Caucasian, mean age = 13.7 years, range 12–17) completed a 3-week randomized, cross-over sleep manipulation protocol. Following a week of self-selected sleep duration, adolescents were randomized to a five-night deficient sleep opportunity (6.5 hr in bed) or a healthy sleep opportunity (10 hr in bed) obtained by systematically changing bedtimes. Wake time remained consistent across all 3 weeks (including weekends). Daily reports of sleep patterns and asthma symptoms, actigraphy, and daily peak expiratory flow rates (PEFR), as well as weekly spirometry and exhaled nitric oxide were collected.Results:
Participants averaged 3.2 hr less sleep (P < 0.001) per night in the short sleep condition versus the long sleep condition. Further, they had an 8.4% decrease overnight in PEFR (P= 0.007), and reported more asthma symptoms interfering with activities in the past 24 hr (P = 0.02) in the short sleep condition than the long sleep condition. No significant differences between experimental weeks were found for weekly spirometry or exhaled nitric oxide.Conclusions:
This pilot study demonstrated the feasibility of a cross-over sleep manipulation protocol in adolescents with asthma. Since overnight decrease in PEFR is a marker of nocturnal asthma, and has been associated with the severity of daytime airflow limitation, these early-stage results suggest that shortened sleep duration may exacerbate adolescent asthma and associated functional impairments.