Many times, children have been misdiagnosed with ADD or ADHD when in reality they have had Sleep Apnea. At one time, doctors didn’t realize that a child could have sleep apnea. It was mistakenly believed that only overweight men could have sleep apnea. Today we know that is completely untrue. We now know that when a child is sleep deprived (be it from a lack of adequate amounts of sleep, or from poor quality sleep) they will react differently than adults. Unlike adults, sleep derived children tend to have behavior problems, difficulty paying attention, and hyperactivity.
Some common signs and symptoms for childhood sleep apnea include but are not limited to:
· Poor Behavior
· Learning difficulties
· Observed “snorting”, coughing, or choking in sleep
· Mouth Breathing while asleep
· Nighttime sweating
· Restless sleep / bedding tossed and twisted or on the floor
· Teeth grinding
· Excessive napping
· Sleep Walking
· Growth problems (falling off the curve/being abnormally small for their age)
· Sleeping in unusual positions (especially if sleeping in ways that hyperextend the neck to assist in keeping the airway open)
If you suspect your child has sleep apnea, contact a board-certified sleep specialist to have them evaluated.
All post are informative only and should not be taken as Medical Advice. Always consult your family physician about your health issues.