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Snoring During Childhood May Lead to Behavioral Problems



Do you have a child who persistently snores at night? What do you understand about sleeping in children? A new study has just revealed that children who snore at night are more likely to develop problems related to their behavior, such as hyperactivity and aggression.

The new research studied 249 mothers and their children. The study revealed that children who snored during the age of two and three are more likely to exhibit signs of behavioral problems compared to children who did not snore during these ages. Mainly, children who snore are 3.5 times more likely to develop behavioral issues.

The study specifically revealed that 35% of children who snored during these two years of life manifested behavioral problems compared to 10%, and 12% of those who did not snore or only snored for a year.

The Effects of Snoring on Behavior

Snoring during sleep is a sign of difficulty in breathing. Snoring may result from enlarged adenoids, allergies, and even colds. It can also be caused by fatigue and even obstruction of the throat by the tongue. Since snoring causes difficulty in breathing, it may lead to various effects such as disturbed sleep and decreased oxygenation of the cells.

Short-term snoring as a result of allergies may not cause significant effects; however, chronic snoring may lead to the substantial affectation of the brain and mood of the child.

The disruption in sleep and the decreased oxygenation of the child may lead to sleep deprivation even though the child seems to be fully asleep.

Children who snore may become grumpier than other children because of poor sleep. This grumpiness may be exhibited as behavioral problems, which may, in turn, lead adults or parents to treat the child indifferently, not acknowledging the role of snoring in their behavior.

The effects of poor sleep from snoring and possible subsequent behavioral changes are due to the inhibition of the developmental pathways in the neurons in the central nervous system, particularly in the brain that may lead to aggression and hyperactivity.

Implications for Parents

Parents usually don’t associate snoring as a problem for their child; instead, they associate it with the inability to sleep. Now that research has opened the doors to understanding the relationship of snoring, quality of sleep, and behavioral patterns, parents should devise ways to minimize their child’s snoring and promote healthy sleep. The following are ways of managing to snore and sleep problems:

1. Visit an otorhinolaryngologist

Physicians usually detect the presence of enlarged adenoids that may be obstructing the airway of the child, thus causing the snoring. Physicians may suggest ways to reduce snoring by first treating the enlarged adenoids.

2. Manage colds promptly

Colds may be a mild disease but can lead to considerable sleep disturbance at night.

3. Prevent allergies

Make sure that your home is free of allergens such as pollens, mites, dust, and other such things. Also, make sure that your child minimizes contact with allergens in school and their play areas.

4. Ensure comfort

Children who are comfortable in their sleep tend to sleep better and position themselves in a position to prevent snoring. In this regard, getting the best mattress and linens are essential in promoting healthy sleep.

5. Breastfeed infants

Breastfeeding allows the child to remodel the airway to reduce snoring. Breastfeeding not only promotes proper nutrition but also helps limit snoring and promote healthier sleep.

Since snoring was seen to affect the behavior of children significantly, parents should acknowledge the fact that they have a significant role to play in the prevention of behavioral problems by eliminating or reducing snoring and promoting better sleep at night.