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Keywords:

  • asthma;
  • child;
  • sleep-disordered breathing;
  • sleep disturbances

Summary

The aim of the study was to investigate whether wheezing is associated with disturbed sleep and increased daytime symptoms in school-aged children. A random sample of 1234 children, aged 6–14 years, participated in a respiratory health study in the region of Antwerp. The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire and a separate sleep questionnaire were completed. In the children who wheezed in the last 12 months, sleep quality was more frequently disturbed due to nocturnal awakenings and restless sleep compared with children who did not wheeze. Daytime sleepiness and tiredness were more common in wheezing than in non-wheezing children. After adjusting for possible confounders a positive association was found between wheeze and: difficulties falling asleep [odds ratio (OR) = 2.0], restless sleep (OR = 5.0), daytime sleepiness (OR = 3.8) and daytime tiredness (OR = 5.1). Chronic cough (OR = 2.4), snoring (OR = 2.0), chronic rhinitis (OR = 2.6) and eczema (OR = 3.3) were associated with disturbed sleep. Chronic cough (OR = 2.5) and rhinitis (OR = 4.1) were related to daytime tiredness. Chronic rhinitis was an important risk factor for snoring (OR = 1.9). In wheezing school-aged children, decreased quality of sleep and increased daytime tiredness and sleepiness were more often reported. Upper airway symptoms were related to the sleep disturbances.