We all know that a good night’s sleep is imperative for retaining the information learned in the classroom, but several studies conducted over the last few years are showing a considerable link between sleep apnea and serious behavioral disorders and learning disabilities.

A recent study published in the journal SLEEP looked at the association between obstructive sleep apnea and behavioral and learning problems in children. Scientists from the University of Arizona analyzed data collected from the Tuscon Children’s Assessment of Sleep Apnea Study. Of the 263 children ranging in age from 6 to 11, the children who had occasional or persistent sleep apnea were four to five times higher risk of having behavioral problems and seven time higher risk of having poor grades in school.

Past studies that solidify the link between sleep apnea and childhood problems include:

  • Last year, the journal Pediatrics showed that kids with sleep apnea have a 40% higher chance of having behavioral problems by age 7.
  • The journal Pediatrics also published a study showing that an association between sleep apnea and the need for special education classes in elementary schools.
  • The American Sleep Apnea Association has suggested that sleep apnea can cause growth issues, metabolic problems and a higher risk of obesity in children.

If your child snores or has pauses in breathing while sleeping, contact Atlanta ENT today for a sleep apnea consultation appointment.

Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT