Fluoride linked to altered sleep patterns in adolescents

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This study links altered sleep patterns in adolescents to levels of fluoride in the drinking water in the USA.
“Chronic low-level fluoride exposure may contribute to changes in sleep cycle regulation and sleep behaviors among older adolescents in the US.”
Ashley J Malin
Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA

This study used data from the extensive US NHANES health and nutrition surveys conducted by the US Centres for Disease Control.

The authors found that in adolescents age 16 to 19 years living with fluoridated water, there was a doubling of symptoms indicative of sleep apnea, compared to those with low fluoride water. There were also significantly later bed times and waking times in the adolescents with higher water fluoride levels. 

The link between fluoride and sleep disturbances may be through fluoride’s effect on the pineal gland. This gland, situated in the brain, regulates sleep-wake cycles through the hormone melatonin. The pineal gland accumulates high levels of fluoride, and previous studies in animals suggested fluoride may alter melatonin levels [Luke 1997].  Alteration of sleep patterns may be a neurotoxic effect of fluoride separate from the loss of IQ and increased risk of ADHD due to earlier life exposures.

Fluoride exposure and sleep patterns among older adolescents in the United States: a cross-sectional study of NHANES 2015–2016

Ashley J. Malin, Sonali Bose, Stefanie A. Busgang, Chris Gennings, Michael Thorpy, Robert O. Wright, Rosalind J. Wright & Manish Arora

Environmental Health volume 18, Article number: 106 (2019)