PTF Meeting Summary: Sleep Issues with CF
On March 15, 2022, Dr. Cynthia Brown, from Indiana University, offered a very informative presentation on Sleep Health when you have CF. She started with an overview of what is currently known about the importance of sleeping, what is unique about sleeping when you have CF, and sleep with comorbidities that are common to CF, such as chronic pain and mental health disorders. She went on to talk about ways to get better sleep by focusing on environmental and behavioral factors, then closed out with a discussion of when to seek medical evaluation for sleep issues.
Of particular relevance to the CF community, Dr. Brown shared information about how nutritional deficiencies, pain, night time coughing, reduced oxygenation levels, CFTR proteins in brain matter, immune responses to exacerbations, and medications can all impact sleep. She explained how iron deficiency can lead to restless leg syndrome, which can often present as a feeling of needing to get out of bed and walk around. She shared information from studies* that were conducted in the pre-modulator era, showing how CF related coughing and reduced oxygenation can both disrupt sleep. Much of the data is older and Dr. Brown suggested more studies to update the data which would benefit the CF community. Here are the images of two of her slides that attendees found pertinent.
Attendees’ interests peaked when Dr. Brown showed the following graph, while discussing the observation* that people with CF seem to have delayed circadian rhythms, and often have longer than average sleep requirements.
She went on to explain how the “cytokine storm” brought about by CF exacerbations can negatively impact sleep, as well as how many CF medications can impact sleep both positively and negatively.
Dr. Brown closed out her presentation by reminding the attendees of the importance of good sleep hygiene practices, like avoiding blue light before bedtime, and making sure the bedroom environment is comfortable. She encouraged seeking medical diagnosis if you feel that you might be exhibiting signs of sleep disorders, like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.
The presentation portion of this PTF Meeting will available for viewing on the CFReSHC YouTube page soon!
*studies are cited on images.