Children present symptoms for sleep apnea differently than adults. Some symptoms can be heavy breathing, restless sleep, coughing, or mouth breathing. Children will not usually snore loudly nor exhibit noticeable pauses in their breathing. Sleep apnea increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease in children. It can also worsen seizures and affect asthma control. If left undiagnosed, the child’s brain cells can be greatly affected; causing a decline in their IQ more than lead poisoning.
When adults need rest, they look for a chance to take a nap, however, children will generally compensate by forcing themselves to stay busy and have bursts of energy. Any parent can attest to what a child is like after a bad night of sleep. The child can be easily frustrated, frantic, and less likely to consider the consequences of their actions.
If a child gets little to no sleep, it significantly impacts their learning and their behavior. It can also manifest as ADHD, depression, anxiety, and learning difficulties. Teenagers can be affected with these same symptoms with the additional possibilities of falling asleep behind the wheel.
Sleep has a critical role in your child’s brain development. While sleeping, their brain changes and develops in several ways. This includes memory and structural development, and emotional regulation. Interrupted sleep on a regular basis can result in lifelong consequences for your child.
We can evaluate, diagnose, and create a treatment plan that is tailored to your sleeping needs. There is a possibility your sleep difficulties are caused from obstructive sleep apnea or many other curable sleep disorders. Many symptoms or behaviors that kids exhibit are being ignored by parents, who brush them off as “kids being kids”. By having the “they will grow out of it” mentality, everyone including, the child and their support system will suffer. Schedule a sleep evaluation today!