Indoor Mold Exposure Increases Risk Of Sleep Problems

Several large studies have reported that sleep problems are significantly more common in indoor mold exposed patients as compared to unexposed controls. 


A study of randomly selected 4,979 adults all over the USA reported that presence of moldy or musty odor was associated with significantly higher rate of sleep complaints vs adults not exposed to musty odor (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.07-1.75) (Shiue 2015).

A study of 1,719 children in 4 German cities reported that visible mold or dampness was associated with significantly higher risk of all sleep problems (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.21-2.60) and significant problems in sleeping through the night (2.52; 95% CI 1.27-5.00) (Tiesler, Thiering et al. 2015).

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Sleep apnea and waking apnea has also been seen in human infants exposed to high levels of indoor mycotoxins (Etzel 2006). Reducing indoor mold exposure in infants often improves their sleep.

The mechanism by which mycotoxins affect sleep is not well known, however it could be due to the neurotoxic and endocrinotoxic (hormone disrupting) effects of many mycotoxins.


References / Sources

Etzel, R. A. (2006). “What the primary care pediatrician should know about syndromes associated with exposures to mycotoxins.” Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care 36(8): 282-305.

Shiue, I. (2015). “Indoor mildew odour in old housing was associated with adult allergic symptoms, asthma, chronic bronchitis, vision, sleep and self-rated health: USA NHANES, 2005-2006.” Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 22(18): 14234-14240.

Tiesler, C. M., et al. (2015). “Exposure to visible mould or dampness at home and sleep problems in children: Results from the LISAplus study.” Environ Res 137: 357-363.



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