Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 281–287 | Cite as

Increased sleep latency and reduced sleep duration in children with asthma

  • Megan E. Jensen
  • Peter G. Gibson
  • Clare E. Collins
  • Jodi M. Hilton
  • Fiona Latham-Smith
  • Lisa G. WoodEmail author
Original Article


Study objective

Sleep disturbance is reported to be more prevalent in children and adolescents with asthma than those without. However, this has not been described adequately using objective measures. The aim of this study was to objectively characterise sleep disturbance in asthmatic and non-asthmatic children and adolescents.


A retrospective analysis of polysomnography recordings from children aged 5–17 years old, with (n = 113) and without asthma (n = 104), referred for a sleep study over the period 2005–2010 at the Paediatric Sleep Unit, John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, NSW Australia, was carried out.


Polysomnographic recordings were analysed to compare sleep quality and quantity between asthmatic and non-asthmatic children. Sleep latency was significantly longer in asthmatic children compared to controls. However, this result was significant for females only (46.2 (5.6) vs 33.2 (2.7) min, p < 0.05). Male asthmatics had significantly shorter sleep duration (425.9 (5.4) vs 441.8 (5.4) min, p < 0.05) than male controls.


Sleep disturbance exists in children with asthma and manifests differently in males and females. Further investigation into the clinical implication of increased sleep latency and reduced sleep duration upon daytime functioning and lifestyle behaviours in children and adolescents with asthma is warranted.


Adolescent Asthma Child Polysomnography Sleep 



Arousal index


Body mass index


Cardiovascular disease








Forced expiratory volume in one second


Forced vital capacity


Interquartile range




Pulmonary expiratory flow


Paediatric sleep unit


Respiratory disturbance index


Rapid eye movement


Standard error mean


Total sleep time


Total time awake


Obstructive sleep apnea



The authors acknowledge the work of the John Hunter Children’s Hospital Paediatric Sleep Unit staff for the collection, extraction, and scoring of the polysomnography data.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Megan E. Jensen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter G. Gibson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Clare E. Collins
    • 3
  • Jodi M. Hilton
    • 4
  • Fiona Latham-Smith
    • 5
  • Lisa G. Wood
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Hunter Medical Research InstituteJohn Hunter HospitalNewcastleAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Asthma and Respiratory DiseasesUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  3. 3.School of Health Sciences, Faculty of HealthUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  4. 4.Paediatric Respiratory and Sleep MedicineJohn Hunter Children’s HospitalNewcastleAustralia
  5. 5.Paediatric Sleep UnitJohn Hunter Children’s HospitalNewcastleAustralia

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