Children with cystic fibrosis sleep less than those who do not, says study

Children with cystic fibrosis experience less sleep than healthy children, impacting on their health and quality of life, a study has revealed.

The research, published by the Monash University, Australia, said poor sleep can not only be caused by symptoms of the disease, but also other distractions such as electronic devices in the bedroom.

It says improving sleep has the potential to improve health and quality of life in these children.

The researchers looked at 87 children with cystic fibrosis, and 55 without, aged between seven and 18 years of age.

They measured sleeping habits using an Actigraphy – a form of wrist watch which detects movement levels – as well as routine questionnaires for sleep disturbance and daytime sleepiness.

Conclusively, it found that children with cystic fibrosis achieved less sleep than the healthy group.

Professor Rosemary Horne, lead researcher, said: “This was due to the children with cystic fibrosis spending more time in wakefulness during the night rather than less time in bed.”

She added that deceased quality of sleep in children may impact on mood, quality of life, behaviour and emotional regulation.

“Sleep is clearly something that needs to be considered when developing overall treatments for children with CF,” she said.