Nightwatch: Sleep disruption of caregivers of children with asthma in Detroit
Caregiving for ill loved ones can impact sleep quality and quantity. Insufficient sleep has been associated with worse physical and mental health outcomes, as well as an impact on work performance and ability to accomplish necessary tasks. While some research has looked at the sleep of caregivers of loved ones with chronic illness and found that they experience poorer sleep, little is known about the impact of caring for a child with asthma on the caregiver’s sleep and the ways in which their sleep may be affected. Community Action Against Asthma, a community-based participatory research partnership, conducted interviews with semi-structured and open-ended questions with 40 caregivers of children with asthma who live in Detroit. We found that caregivers regularly experience poor quality sleep due to sleeping lightly in order to listen for the child’s symptoms, waking multiple times to check on the child due to worry and providing care for him or her when he or she experiences symptoms in the middle of the night. Results of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale indicate that 12.5% of caregivers received a score of 16 or more, the score on the scale used to indicate likely presence of a sleep disorder, and 42.5% had a score of 10 or more, indicating excessive sleepiness. Sleep disturbance in caregivers is an under-recognized consequence of childhood asthma with implications for providers caring for children with asthma.
Cheezum, R. R., Parker, E. A., Sampson, N. R., Lewis, T. C., O’Toole, A., Patton, J., ... & Keirns, C. C. (2013). Nightwatch: sleep disruption of caregivers of children with asthma in Detroit. Journal of asthma & allergy educators, 4(5), 217-225.
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