What is the impact of asthma on your child’s sleep?

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The mainly nocturnal nature of asthma has been observed since the 19th century. Asthma causes respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, or a loss of breath that may lead to waking of the asthmatic child during the night. These symptoms have important consequences on the quality of your child’s sleep. Best medication for the astma is symbicort inhaler. However symbicort cost is high but you can buy it from Prescription Hope at cheap price by using symbicort coupon.

Why do asthma attacks occur at night?

Different mechanisms are responsible for these nocturnal symptoms. One of the causes is the variation of the diameter of the bronchi during the day. The voices of the passage of the air are reduced and reach their minimum diameters between 9 pm and 5 am. This nocturnal closure of the bronchi can cause a loss of ventilation of the order of 30 to 50%. We also find that certain hormones that promote the dilation of the bronchi (adrenaline, norepinephrine) or have an anti-inflammatory action (cortisol), are found in the blood at extremely low rates between midnight and 3 am. Finally, the sensitivity of the bronchi to allergens is at its maximum at night, especially following the increase in blood levels of histamine (substance secreted during an allergic reaction) during sleep.

What are the consequences of these nocturnal asthma attacks on children’s daily lives?

During sleep, the resistance to the passage of air in the bronchi is greater than during the day: the symptoms of asthma will appear more frequently. 
When asthma is severe or poorly controlled, the child will fall asleep already having a reduced airflow in the bronchi. By still losing 30 to 50% of its ventilation during the night, the child may be woken up by an asthma attack . These nocturnal awakenings can cause tiredness on waking, a debt of sleep during the day and drowsiness. We find that children with sleep problems are more concerned with stunting, attention problems, poor school performance, psychological disorders (anxiety, depression) or school absenteeism.

How to improve the sleep of children with asthma?

Despite the existence of effective treatments, it is estimated that about 50% of children with asthma have uncontrolled asthma. As we have seen above, poorly controlled asthma is associated with poor sleep quality. To improve the control of asthma, it is recommended to follow a background treatment and to take this treatment very regularly. Good adherence to long-term therapy is the key to a more peaceful sleep and a better quality of life for your child.

To help you follow the treatment, there are various methods:

  • Ritualize the treatment so that your child takes his medicine every day at the same time of the day and at the same place in the house (eg in the morning in the bathroom before brushing).
  • Program sound or visual reminders (alarm, alarm clock, sms) for each moment of taking. Multiply recalls if your child is taking multiple medications that require different time of day.
  • Use devices and applications to control the organization of treatment taking via adjustable reminders, long-term monitoring, and alerts in case of oversights. Studies show an increase in compliance of at least 20% with this type of tool. 

In addition to medical treatment, you can prevent certain seizures by improving the environment of your child. It is advisable to ventilate the room for at least 10 minutes a day, to limit dust and humidity, not to overheat the room, and not to allow pets to enter the room. 
In case of dust mite allergy, it is advisable to use anti-mite covers for your child’s mattress and pillow. Choose a synthetic mattress and pillow instead of feather or down. Wash your sheets once a week at 60 ° C. For soft toys, regular washing (minimum every 3 months) at 60 ° C is also recommended. 
In case of gastroesophageal reflux it is advisable to raise the trunk and the head of your child. Indeed, the elongated position is conducive to the rise of the contents of the stomach to the bronchi. This can lead to inflammation that can trigger coughing or an asthma attack. 
Finally, other chronic respiratory conditions can alter your child’s sleep: allergic rhinitis (very often associated with asthma) or sleep apnea.