AAP Study Links Snoring Among Children to Behavioral Problems

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - 9:57am

A new report out by the American Academy of Pediatrics found a link between snoring children and developing behavioral problems.

News Center 23's Na'Tassia Finley has more on the findings and the number one cause behind snoring among children.

Peaceful sleep is ideal. A truly restful sleep will allow a child to wake up refreshed.

"They have to have eight hours of sleep. That's very important otherwise the baby's going to be really irritable or not going to function that day after that," says Pediatrician, Dr. Antonio Figueroa.

A report out by the American Academy of Pediatrics reports interrupted sleep may result in long term effects for a child.

Doctors say that this period of life, when children are so young, is prime time for brain development.

The report finds a connection between snoring or sleep related illnesses in children and behavioral problems.

“Maybe they are sleeping one or two hours, three hours. The day after they don't function well, you know. They are mad, they are frustrated so when they go to school the teachers deal with these kinds of patients and you know they believe they have behavioral problems. the most common is irritability. They don’t get along with the rest of the kids, and they behave badly with the teachers and with everybody," says Dr. Figueroa.

The report studied children between six months to seven years of age.

By just four years old, children with sleep disordered breathing were 20 to 40 percent more likely to have behavioral difficulties; by age seven, that number shoots up to 40 to 100 percent more likely.

So what are some of the causes of these sleep related difficulties?

"Most of the time in kids, sleep apnea is caused by obstruction of the airway in some place you know, the tonsils, the adenoids, especially large tonsils, large adenoids, it causes sleep apnea," says Dr. Figueroa.

So, there may actually be a little truth when parents blame a kid's bratty behavior on being tired, but the pediatrician says a parent should still take proactive measures to ensure their child is getting a truly restful sleep, breathe easy sleep.

If you have any questions or concerns you're urged to check with your child's pediatrician.


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