Can Apnea Episodes Cause Aggression In Children?

We all need sleep and when our routine sleep pattern is interrupted, we generally suffer from the side effects the next day. However, when sleep is continuously interrupted, disorders such as sleep apnea come into the picture and while many don’t think it, no one is safe from sleep apnea. Anyone of any age, race, gender, and health can be diagnosed with sleep apnea. From star athletes to energetic children, sleep apnea knows no bounds. In fact nowadays, studies are being conducted in order to learn more about sleep apnea in children and the affects of the disorder.

In a recently published study published by Sleep Medicine, results hinted towards the idea that a child with sleep apnea may be more likely to turn into a bully or someone who displays very aggressive and angry behavior. Though it may seem far-fetched, the study does have a valid point.

Aggression and Frequently Interrupted Sleep

Angry childAnyone who suffers from untreated sleep apnea knows that the disorder causes a variety of emotional, physical, and mental consequences. From fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and headaches, patients can also suffer from depression, mood swings, and random bouts of anger. The study, conducted by the University of Michigan Medical School, determined that a childhood bully is twice as likely to suffer from daytime sleepiness with sleep disordered breathing. These results are hardly shocking as we all know that a lack of quality sleep can cause many of us to be short-tempered and sometimes irrational.

Though the study didn’t say that sleep apnea was the sole cause of sleepiness the end results did prove that those students who were highly aggressive commonly did not get enough sleep or suffered from poor sleep quality. A lack of quality sleep is often linked to sleep apnea because the condition causes the sufferer to wake up hundreds of times each night. Every time the patient awakens, the body’s sleep cycle is interrupted which means that restorative deep sleep cycles are rarely reached.

If daytime fatigue, sleepiness, random bouts of depression, aggression, or restlessness has become a daily norm for you, you may suffer from sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you will need to find a sleep apnea treatment that is effective in ensuring your breathing remains constant and uninterrupted while you sleep. Dr. Roubal provides patients with alternative sleep apnea treatments so that CPAP does not have to be used. Click here to contact our Omaha office today to learn more about sleep apnea treatment options.