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J Vestib Res. 2017;27(2-3):127-135. doi: 10.3233/VES-170617.

Vestibular vertigo is associated with abnormal sleep duration.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine, School of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Princess Nourah University Riyadh, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



Several small studies in animals and humans have suggested a relationship between vestibular function and sleep. In this study, we evaluate the association between vestibular vertigo and sleep duration in a large, representative sample of US adults.


We used data from the National Health Interview Survey, which administered a Balance Supplement in 2008 in a sample of 20,950 adult respondents. We evaluated the cross-sectional association between vestibular vertigo (based on a well-validated definition) and sleep duration (defined as short <6 hours, normal 6-8 hours, and long >8 hours). We performed multiple and multinomial logistic regression analyses to estimate the odds ratio and relative risk ratio (RRR) of impaired sleep duration compared to normal sleep duration associated with vestibular vertigo. Analyses were adjusted for demographic, lifestyle and health behavior characteristics as well as relevant comorbid conditions.


Thirty percent of individuals with vestibular vertigo reported abnormal sleep duration (15.5% short duration and 14.8% long duration). In adjusted analyses, individuals with vestibular vertigo had a 1.75 (95% CI 1.45-2.11) RRR of having short sleep duration compared to individuals without vestibular vertigo, and a 1.55 (95% CI 1.26-1.91) RRR of having long sleep duration compared to individuals without vestibular vertigo.


This study presents epidemiologic evidence to support the association between vestibular function and sleep duration. Individuals with vestibular vertigo had a higher RRR for abnormally short or long sleep duration. Further work is needed to evaluate the causal direction(s) of this association.


National Health Interview Survey; Vestibular vertigo; sleep duration; vestibular system

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