Chronic rhinosinusitis and sleep: A contemporary review

Jeremiah A. Alt, Timothy L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) exhibit centrally mediated behavioral changes commonly referred to as "sickness behavior." Sleep alteration is a component of sickness behavior which is estimated to affect up to 70 million patients annually. Patients with CRS have poor sleep quality, and little is known about the underlying etiology and pathophysiology. This narrative review aims to further organize and present the current knowledge associating sleep and CRS. Methods: A literature search was conducted of the OVID MEDLINE database using key search words including: "chronic rhinosinusitis," "sleep," "sleep disorders," and "sleep dysfunction." Additional keywords "nasal obstruction," "nasal polyp," and "fatigue" were identified and used to further delineate relevant articles. Results: The articles that specifically addressed sleep and CRS were dissected and presented as follows: (1) chronic rhinosinusitis and sleep; (2) chronic rhinosinusitis and fatigue; (3) chronic rhinosinusitis, nasal obstruction, and sleep; and (4) pathophysiology of sleep in chronic rhinosinusitis (cytokines in both sleep and chronic rhinosinusitis and their association to the neuroimmune biology of chronic rhinosinusitis). Conclusion: Patients with CRS have sleep dysfunction that is associated with their disease severity and overall quality of life. The etiology of sleep dysfunction in CRS is most likely multifactorial. Increasing evidence suggests sleep dysfunction in patients with CRS is partly due to the inflammatory disease process, and sleep physiology in patients with CRS may be actively regulated by the inflammatory component of the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-949
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Fatigue
  • Review
  • Rhinology
  • Sinusitis
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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