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. Although 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 effects 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

little girl sleeping with her mouth wide openAnyone 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 childhood aggression was linked commonly with not enough sleep or suffering 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.

Does My Child Have Sleep Apnea?

If you notice childhood aggression, it’s quite possible your child has sleep apnea. Other symptoms of childhood sleep apnea include:

  • Bed-wetting
  • Sleep terrors
  • Mouth breathing
  • Restless sleep
  • Snoring
  • Choking or coughing while sleeping
  • Breathing pauses

Take a peek at your child while they’re sleeping to watch out for any of these symptoms. If you notice any, we highly encourage you to take a “Does my child have sleep apnea?” quiz. If the results indicate a chance they have sleep apnea, it’s important to get them tested so you can begin treatment. Following sleep apnea treatment, childhood aggression can correct itself. Your child can also focus better and potentially stop wetting the bed.

If daytime fatigue, sleepiness, random bouts of depression, aggression, or restlessness has become a daily norm for you or your child, sleep apnea might be the cause. After receiving a diagnosis, you will need to find a sleep apnea treatment that is effective in ensuring you or your child’s breathing remains constant and uninterrupted during 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.