How Well Do Children with Cystic Fibrosis Sleep? An Actigraphic and Questionnaire-Based Study

Moya Vandeleur, Lisa M. Walter, David S. Armstrong, Philip Robinson, Gillian M. Nixon, Rosemary S. C. Horne

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To measure sleep patterns and quality, objectively and subjectively, in clinically stable children with cystic fibrosis (CF) and healthy control children, and to examine the relationship between sleep quality and disease severity. Study design Clinically stable children with CF and healthy control children (7-18 years of age) were recruited. Sleep patterns and quality were measured at home with actigraphy (14 days). Overnight peripheral capillary oxygen saturation was measured via the use of pulse oximetry. Daytime sleepiness was evaluated by the Pediatric Daytime Sleepiness Scale (PDSS) and subjective sleep quality by the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children and Obstructive Sleep Apnea-18. Results A total of 87 children with CF and 55 control children were recruited with no differences in age or sex. Children with CF had significantly lower total sleep time and sleep efficiency than control children due to frequent awakenings and more wake after sleep onset. In children with CF, forced expiratory volume in 1 second and overnight peripheral capillary oxygen saturation nadir correlated positively with total sleep time and sleep efficiency and negatively with frequency of awakenings and wake after sleep onset. Patients with CF had significantly greater Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children (45 vs 35; P < .001), Obstructive Sleep Apnea-18 (35 vs 24; P < .001), and PDSS scores (14 vs 11; P < .001). There was a negative correlation between PDSS and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (r = −0.23; P < .05). Conclusions Even in periods of clinical stability, children with CF get less sleep than their peers due to more time in wakefulness during the night rather than less time spent in bed. Objective measures of sleep disturbance and subjective daytime sleepiness were related to disease severity. In contrast, parents of children with CF report high levels of sleep disturbance unrelated to disease severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-176
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • actigraphy
  • daytime sleepiness
  • sleep diaries

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