To Your Health
July, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 07)
Going to Sleep Late: A Cause of Asthma and Allergies?
By Editorial Staff
Yes, if you're a teen, according to new research. Staying up later is a normal part of the "growing up" process for teens, but the real problem these days may be technology and its around-the-clock accessibility.
If you don't put your child's cellphone, laptop and TV to bed, your teen probably won't get to bed at a reasonable hour, either. Unfortunately, asthma and/or allergies could be one of the health consequences.
A study published in ERJ Open Research investigated the potential connection between sleep patterns and asthma / allergies among 1,684 teenagers (ages 13-14) enrolled in the Prevalence and Risk Factors of Asthma and Allergy-Related Diseases among Adolescents (PERFORMANCE) study. Researchers gathered self-reported data from each child on respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, asthma and allergic rhinitis (runny nose, sneezing, etc.); as well as general sleep patterns: when they start to feel tired at night, when they wake up, how tired they feel first thing in the morning, and whether they are generally "morning" or "evening" types.
Researchers then analyzed each symptom with respect to the child's sleep preferences (later bedtime vs. earlier bedtime). Results showed that teens who preferred to go to sleep later had approximately three times the risk of suffering asthma, and two times the risk of suffering allergic rhinitis, compared to teens who preferred to go to sleep earlier. Risk factors that predispose to allergies or asthma, such as exposure to secondhand smoke, pets in the home, etc., were accounted for to ensure the accuracy of the results.
Anyone who suffers from asthma and/or allergies knows how frustrating they can be. Could the time you go to bed be a factor? In the case of teens, it certainly may be the case.