OOA: Asthma and Sleep Disturbance


As your go-to ENT in Oklahoma, we at Oklahoma Otolaryngology Associates want to educate you about asthma and what role it plays in your body, health and in particular, how it can impact your sleep. Breathing and sleep are vitally important elements of your health, and we want to make sure that our patients are properly educated and informed about the relationship between the two.

Asthma is a chronic lung condition that affects approximately 20 million Americans. Symptoms of asthma occur when the airway becomes inflamed and constricts to make breathing difficult.

Asthma patients may also suffer from nighttime coughing, wheezing and breathlessness that may disturb their sleep. Many researchers believe that asthmatic symptoms are at least partly due to circadian rhythms and use the term “nocturnal asthma” to describe the asthma symptoms worsening at night.

There are several reasons that may explain why nighttime seems to exacerbate asthma symptoms. Airway resistance increases throughout the night, whether or not a person is sleeping; the increase is much greater if the person is asleep. The airway functions best before the onset of sleep and decreases as sleep progresses.

Asthma often starts in childhood and is more common in children than adults. It is extremely important for children with asthma to get adequate sleep. In a study that was conducted in April, 2005 for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, it was reported that 48% of child asthma sufferers experienced disturbed sleep as a result of asthma.

It is important for a person with asthma to know the triggers for their asthmatic attacks. The following are some common triggers:

  • Colds

  • Flu and viruses

  • Dust (and dust mites)

  • Allergens

  • Mold

  • Animal dander

  • Smoke

  • Strong odors

  • Exercise

  • Reflux disease

  • Weather

  • Food

  • Emotions

  • Laughter

People with asthma are mostly able to live a normal life and participate in most activities. Patients should work with their doctors to develop a medication regimen that works best.  

 This is just the beginning of some introductory information about the tonsils and possible conditions that may affect them and your health. If you have any questions at all, please call us or make an appointment to make sure your lungs, breathing and sleep are in good shape.

We at OOA are your ENT experts.  We are excited to educate and support you in all things ENT.