PURPOSE: National Sleep Foundation data suggests that poor sleep hygiene practices are common. However, details of these poor practices and their relationship to sleep disorders have not been well-studied. We hypothesized that poor sleep hygiene behaviors would be more common in patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) as compared to those without OSA.
METHODS: A questionnaire asking about bedtime-related behaviors was completed by consecutive patients at the time of polysomnography that diagnosed OSA (OSA group, N = 367). The same questionnaire was completed by a convenience sample taken from the primary care clinics at the same urban academic institution. Patients scoring as “low risk” for OSA on the Berlin questionnaire made up the primary care (PCP) group (N= 208 out of 403 sampled).
RESULTS: The OSA group was older (50 vs. 47 y/o, p = 0.01) and heavier (BMI 39.4 vs. 27.6 kg/m2, p < 0.001). There were no differences in the gender or race between the groups. The OSA group was more likely to sleep somewhere other than bed (15% vs. 9%. p=0.01) and to listen to the TV, radio or music while going to sleep (52% vs. 37%, p<0.001). The OSA group reported a shorter sleep duration (6.1 vs. 6.5 hrs/night, p=0.01) and overall lower heath status score (5.8 vs. 6.7, scale from 1-10, p<0.001). The PCP group reported greater use of alcohol as a sleep aid (6.7% vs. 2.7%, p = 0.02). There were no significant differences between the groups in rates of caffeine use within 5 hrs of bedtime (45% combined), smoking within 1 hr of bedtime (22%), eating in bed (14%), sleeping with children in bed (7%), sleeping with pets in bed (12%), and use of sleeping pills (17%).
CONCLUSION: Poor sleep hygiene practices are highly prevalent. OSA patients often do not sleep in a bed and are frequently exposed to bedtime environmental noises, possibly impacting sleep duration and overall health status.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Physicians should screen and counsel their patients about bedtime behaviors.
DISCLOSURE: Moayyed Moallem, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information