Is Your Child Acting Out? It Might Be a Sleep Disorder
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), is a disorder that blocks the airway, causing wakeful, restless sleep. A child with OSA may stop breathing for a moment, but will awaken and start to breath again.
The best place to begin is with a sleep evaluation at Asante Physician Partners Pulmonary Consultants & Sleep Specialists and then follow-up with a sleep study. The Asante Sleep Center in Medford offers sleep studies for children, ages 3 and up.
Obstructive sleep apnea leaves adults tired and miserable all day. But it often has the opposite effect in children, causing symptoms that mimic attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
If your child exhibits symptoms of OSA, such as snoring, sleeping with their mouth open, daytime sleepiness, irritability, behavioral problems etc. (For more information, visit www.sleepeducation.org), he or she should be evaluated. A sleep study is the only certain way to make a diagnosis.
"We can diagnose most pediatric sleep disorders," says Beth Mortonson, Clinical Manager of The Asante Sleep Center. "And we have seen remarkable turnarounds in the behavior of children treated for sleep apnea."
To get a sleep study for your child, contact your physician. For more information, call Asante Sleep Center in Medford at (541) 789-4320 or Grants Pass at (541) 472-7533.
Can it Affect My Child's Health?
A child with OSA may have poor health and growth, difficulty concentrating and/or developmental delay, hyperactivity and behavioral problems.
A child with sleep apnea may never reach or maintain deep sleep, preventing the release of growth hormone and making his or her heart work overtime by constantly speeding up to try and overcome the apnea so they can breathe.
So, What is Child Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Here are some facts about sleep apnea he says parents should know.
What it is
Childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by episodic upper airway obstruction that occurs during sleep.
In non-obese and otherwise healthy children younger than 8 years, OSA occurrence is estimated at 1-3 percent. Obesity confers 4-fold to 5-fold added risk for sleep-disordered breathing.
Large tonsils and adenoids are the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in children.
What to do if OSA is suspected
Parents should consult with their child's primary care provider for a referral to certified sleep experts, Asante Physician Partners Pulmonary Consultants & Sleep Specialists for evaluation and possible sleep study. If apnea is diagnosed, the child may be referred to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician for further diagnosis and treatment.
Ten Signs That Point to Sleep Disorder
If your child exhibits any of the following signs, a sleep evaluation and/or study might be needed:
- Sleeps restlessly, maybe in an abnormal position, with head off the bed or propped up with many pillows.
- Snores loudly and often
- Stops breathing during the night for a short period—followed by snorting or gasping or completely waking up
- Sweats heavily during sleep
- Has school discipline or other behavioral problems such as irritability, aggression, or simply “cranky”
- Is difficult to wake up, even after a long sleep.
- Has headaches during the day, particularly in the morning
- Falls asleep or daydreams in school or at home
- Has attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD)
- Bedwetting that isn’t outgrown at a typical age, especially if snoring is present