Medical Technology

These are the Top Questions to ask about Atopic Dermatitis. Sleep Issues

If you’re thinking it’s not essential to check for sleep disorders in patients with Atopic Dermatitis (AD) consider again.

According to Sabra M. Abbott, MD, PhD, professor of neurology at Northwestern University, Chicago, AD is caused by difficulties sleeping, nighttime awakenings early morning awakenings, more sleepiness during the day, a decrease in performance in sleep, and increased awakenings, arousals, and sleep fragmentation, as well as increased night kicks and nocturnal leg cramps, and an increase of more than twofold in risk of insomnia.

She addressed the most important questions for patients suffering from AD who present with sleep problems during the Revolutionizing Atopic Dermatitis symposium:

When do you have to go to bed? This does not mean when you get in the bed. It refers to when you go to bed with the an intention of sleeping. Abbott stated.

How long does it take to get to sleep? Do you awake in the middle of the night? And for how long? What should you do if you wake up?

How do you wake up in the morning? Are you using an alarm clock, or your own?

Does this schedule differ on days off from work? Does your daytime sleepiness include sleep issues that affect your performance throughout the day?

Do you sleep? Meaning, is there a concern about sleep apnea?

Are you experiencing discomfort in the legs? Are they more painful in the evening but improve when you move? These are signs of a possible restless-legs syndrome.

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is one self-administered questionnaire to consider using for AD patients with sleep complaints. “This offers patients several examples of typical scenarios they could encounter during the day and queries whether or not they feel that they could handle any of these scenarios,” Abbott said. “A score higher than 10 indicates they are sleepy It’s not just a general sense of fatigue and a lack of energy.”

She also recommended the Insomnia Severity Index as well as the STOP-Bang survey.

Abbott said that they did not have any financial disclosures.

This article first appeared on, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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