Written by Gissia Castelnoble, Child and Adolescent Psychologist (B.A. Psych., Dip of Child and Adolescent Psych., Dip of Couns, M.Ed. Psych, MAPS)
If your child struggles to fall or stay asleep despite practising good sleep habits, they may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Signs of OSA in children include:
Risk factors for OSA in children are adenotonsillar hypertrophy (enlarged tonsils) and obesity. Other risk factors associated with OSA include preterm birth, asthma, and abnormal craniofacial features.
OSA symptoms can cause behavioural problems, difficulty concentrating, daytime fatigue and irritability. Research has also indicated a link between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obstructive sleep apnoea in children.
Addressing pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is vital for your child’s health. Left untreated, it can lead to severe issues, such as learning and behavioural problems, growth, and developmental delays.
If your child is having trouble sleeping, it is crucial to get an accurate diagnosis before turning to medication as a solution. Additionally, your child should undergo a cognitive assessment (an IQ test) to identify any attention or concentration issues only after OSA has been ruled out through a sleep study. It is worth noting that a lack of sleep can significantly impact your child's performance on cognitive tests.
If you are concerned that your child may have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), I highly recommend using the Sunrise Kits. This innovative and reliable in-home sleep test is easy to use and suitable for children aged three and above. For more information and expert advice on sleep apnoea in children, please get in touch with RespectHealth.
The Link between Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8470037/#:~:text=Attention%20deficit%20and%20hyperactivity%20disorder,without%20SDB%20symptoms%20%5B10%5D.
The Impact of inadequate sleep on children's daytime cognitive function