Nocturnal worsening of asthma and sleep-disordered breathing

J Asthma. 2002 Apr;39(2):85-100. doi: 10.1081/jas-120002190.


Asthma has a tendency, to destabilize and get worse at night, probably due to a nocturnal increase in airiway inflammation and bronchial responsiveness. Nocturnal airway narrowing in asthma is often associated with sleep disorders, such as episodes of nocturnal and early morning awakening, difficulty in maintaining sleep, and day time sleepiness. On the other hand, an association has been documented between nocturnal sleep-disordered breathing and asthma. This review highlights the causes of nocturnal worsening of asthma and examines the evidence pointing toward a causal relationship between nocturnal asthma and sleep-disordered breathing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / complications
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Humans
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / etiology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Stages / physiology
  • Supine Position