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Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2009 Mar;26(153):188-93.

[Sleep disorders in childhood and adolescence, with special reference to allergic diseases].

[Article in Polish]

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Department of Pediatrics, Gastroenterology and Allergic Diseases, Medical University of Bialystok, Poland.


Allergic diseases have a significant impact on the quality of life. The aim of the study was to compare sleep parameters of allergic and non-allergic children.


Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire was used to asses sleep quality in 202 participants in a 3-year prospective study: in 122 hospitalized (mean age 7.9 +/- 4.7) (F/M 75/47) due to allergic (n = 70) or non-allergic disease (n = 52), and in 80 healthy children (mean age 6.3 +/- 5.0) (F/M 36/44). Of 70 allergic participants, 26 had atopic dermatitis (SCORAD > or = 20); 25 were with bronchial asthma (GINA' criteria) and 19 with IgE-dependent food allergy confirmed by oral food challenge. Of 52 non-allergic patients, 31 children had gastro-esophageal reflux disease and 21 children had recurrent respiratory infection.


The group of patients needed significantly more time to fall asleep than controls (17.9 +/- 13.7 vs 12.8 +/- 8.5 min; p < 0.004). Children with food allergy and atopic dermatitis had greatest problems with falling asleep (21.4 +/- 13.8 vs 12.8 +/- 8.5 min; p < 0.006) and 20.4 +/- 14.9 vs 12.8 +/- 8.5 min; p < 0.024). The number of nights of sound sleep without waking up was lower in the study group than in controls (3.5 +/- 2.6 vs 5.0 +/- 2.7; p < 0.0002). Atopic dermatitis and food allergy were found to predispose to sleep disruption most. Snoring history was revealed in 43.4% of patients and in 6.4% of controls (p < 0.0001), being significantly more common in children with bronchial asthma and recurrent respiratory tract infections. Allergic disease was a risk factor for snoring (OR--2.94; 95%CI--1.72-5.05; p < 0.001). As many as 91% of parents did not inform doctors about poor sleep of their children.


1. Allergic diseases are accompanied by different sleep disorders included dyssomnias and parasomnias, e.g. bedtime resistance, disrupted sleep or sleep-disordered breathing. 2. Physicians should pay particular attention to sleep quality in children with allergic diseases irrespective of which body system is affected i.e. the skin (atopic dermatitis), the respiratory tract (bronchial asthma) or the alimentary system (food allergy).

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