Sleep and Fatigue in IBD: an Unrecognized but Important Extra-intestinal Manifestation

Canakis A1, Qazi T2. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2020 Jan 30;22(2):8. doi: 10.1007/s11894-020-0746-x.


Author information

Department of Internal Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord St, Evans 124, Boston, MA, 02118, USA. Andrew.Canakis@bmc.org.

Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, Digestive Diseases Institute, Cleveland Clinic, A30, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH, 44195, USA.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The bidirectional relationship between sleep disorders and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has gained considerable attention in recent years. It has been suggested that poor sleep and fatigue are extra-intestinal manifestations of IBD. This review reports recent studies exploring subjective and objective assessments of sleep in the adult IBD population.

RECENT FINDINGS: In ulcerative colitis patients, poor sleep has been independently linked to depression and poorer IBD-related quality of life. Using home polysomnography, IBD patients were shown to have less rapid eye movement sleep and Crohn's patient had increased lighter sleep. A study utilizing surveys assessing circadian rhythms described circadian misalignment in IBD patients and reported that circadian misalignment in Crohn's disease was associated with a more aggressive disease phenotype. The use of biologics may improve sleep disturbances in patients with IBD. Translational and clinical studies have reported that disturbances in sleep quality are linked to intestinal inflammation and a heighted systemic immune response. IBD patients appear to have disturbed sleep. Poor sleep is also suggested as a marker for subclinical disease activity. Recent studies have suggested circadian misalignment in IBD patients, and future studies are needed to assess these clinical implications.

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