Is your kid always snorting? It might be a sign of troubles to come. Scientists found the link between persistent snoring in children and problems with behavior and learning later on. Kids need a lot of sleep to stay healthy and snoring might depriving them of the rest they need. So, if your kid is cranky, and you did not know that he or she is snorting, now you do. The problem is much more common than was previously believed, since the study found that one in ten kids in the US snore regularly.
Snoring and behavior
In the new study conducted by Dean Beebe, PhD, director of the neuropsychology program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and his colleagues, scientists examined and interviewed 249 kids and their mothers. They found that children that often snore are more often hyperactive, depressed and inattentive.
Snoring is a common sleep disorder. We snore when we have problem breathing while asleep. Our breathing can be disrupted because of cold, allergies, enlarged tonsils or many other problems. Snoring is not normal, but in short duration it is not serious. But, when it is persistent, a person is not sleeping well and the consequences are obvious during the day. The problems are, of course, even more serious with small children who cannot explain what is wrong. What is worse, many people find snoring kids cute.
Children and sleep
Persistent snoring often goes unnoticed by parents if children do not sleep with siblings and nobody hears them during the night.
Children who snore don’t get enough good sleep. Without a good sleep, they are cranky, difficult and problematic with adults and with other kids. It is easy to predict that they will have behavior problems because of crankiness and tiredness.
Scientists warn that the lack of proper sleep prevents normal development of pathways between neurons in the brain. Child”s brain is constantly remodeling itself, and the neuronal connections are constantly being strengthened and weakened.
Why some children snore more?
Another interesting link that came from the Cincinnati study shows that children are more likely to snore loudly and persistently when they were not breastfed or were breastfed for a short time only. The explanation lies in the immunity from diseases that mother”s milk affords to the children, as well as in the bond between the mother and the child formed during breastfeeding, which prevents some forms of bad behavior.
Persistent snoring is also more common among children from poor families. One possible explanation is poor nutrition and unhealthy environmental conditions, which prevent good sleep. Poor parents are also less likely to address issues such as snoring with their pediatricians, so the issue goes untreated for a long time. Most breathing problems in children are treatable and their snoring preventable.
The results of the study on the link between children snoring and behavior have been published in the journal Pediatrics.