Nocturnal eczema: Review of sleep and circadian rhythms in children with atopic dermatitis and future research directions

Anna B. Fishbein*, Olivia Vitaterna, Isabel M. Haugh, Aakash A. Bavishi, Phyllis C. Zee, Fred W. Turek, Stephen H. Sheldon, Jonathan I. Silverberg, Amy S. Paller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations


Children with atopic dermatitis (AD) experience significant sleep disruption, and clinically, the disease is noted to worsen in a circadian manner at night. Epidemiologic findings highlight many negative consequences of AD, such as impaired linear growth, which is uniquely related to disturbed sleep. Clinical guidelines currently recommend assessing sleep in patients with AD as a crucial parameter of disease control with appropriate treatment. In this review we describe our current understanding of the roles of sleep cycles and circadian rhythms in the nighttime exacerbation of AD (nocturnal eczema). We present a schematic to explain the mechanism of nocturnal eczema. Treatment options for sleep disturbance and future directions for research are discussed in the context of AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1170-1177
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015



  • Atopic dermatitis
  • circadian rhythms
  • eczema
  • sleep
  • sleep disturbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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