The correlation between allergic rhinitis and sleep disturbance

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004 Nov;114(5 Suppl):S139-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2004.08.044.


Nasal congestion, a common symptom related to allergic rhinitis (AR), often is associated with poor sleep quality, leading to decreased learning ability, decreased productivity at work or school, and a reduced quality of life. The release of inflammatory mediators and activation of inflammatory cells results in nasal congestion, causing disrupted sleep and subsequent daytime somnolence. Therefore it is important to treat AR with medications that improve congestive symptoms without exacerbating sedation. Second-generation antihistamines and anticholinergic drugs are well tolerated but have little effect on congestion and therefore are limited in their ability to reduce AR-associated daytime somnolence. However, intranasal corticosteroids reduce congestion, improve sleep and sleep problems, and reduce daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and inflammation. Recently, montelukast, a leukotriene receptor antagonist, has joined the approved therapies for AR. Montelukast significantly improves both daytime and nighttime symptoms. AR treatment should endeavor to improve daytime and nighttime symptoms, sleep, and productivity, thereby improving quality of life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Humans
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / complications*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / physiopathology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / therapy*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*