Introduction Sleep length has been associated with obesity and various adverse health outcomes. The possible association of sleep length and respiratory symptoms has not been previously described. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between sleep length and respiratory symptoms and whether such an association existed independent of obesity.
Methods This is a multicentre, cross-sectional, population-based study performed in 23 centres in 10 different countries. Participants (n=5079, 52.3% males) were adults in the third follow-up of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey III. The mean±SD age was 54.2±7.1 (age range 39–67 years). Information was collected on general and respiratory health and sleep characteristics.
Results The mean reported nighttime sleep duration was 6.9±1.0 hours. Short sleepers (<6 hours per night) were n=387 (7.6%) and long sleepers (≥9 hours per night) were n=271 (4.3%). Short sleepers were significantly more likely to report all respiratory symptoms (wheezing, waking up with chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing, phlegm and bronchitis) except asthma after adjusting for age, gender, body mass index (BMI), centre, marital status, exercise and smoking. Excluding BMI from the model covariates did not affect the results. Short sleep was related to 11 out of 16 respiratory and nasal symptoms among subjects with BMI ≥30 and 9 out of 16 symptoms among subjects with BMI <30. Much fewer symptoms were related to long sleep, both for subjects with BMI <30 and ≥30.
Conclusions Our results show that short sleep duration is associated with many common respiratory symptoms, and this relationship is independent of obesity.
- Sleep length
- respiratory symptoms
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Contributors EB drafted the paper, participated in designing the study and performed the statistical analysis. CJ and EL designed the study, participated in manuscript preparation and reviewed the paper on several stages. CJ also contributed to the statistical analysis. BB participated in data collection and reviewing the paper. ESA contributed to the statistical analysis and reviewed the paper, JG-A, AEC, FGR, KT, JH, DN, JLS, PD, SDA, RCN, VS, CR and DLJ. TG is the correspondence author, and he designed the study, participated in manuscript preparation and reviewed the paper on several stages.
Funding The ALEC Study is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No 633212.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Detail has been removed from this case description/these case descriptions to ensure anonymity. The editors and reviewers have seen the detailed information available and are satisfied that the information backs up the case the authors are making.
Ethics approval Ethical approval for the study from local research ethics committees and written consent from participants were obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data available.
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