A snoring child's poor sleep hygiene habits can have a negative influence on his or her daytime behavior, according to a new study.
Lisa Witcher of the University of Louisville, who authored the study, interviewed the parents of 52 children between the ages of five and eight who were reported to snore "frequently" to "almost always". The children underwent an overnight polysomnography, and parents were asked to complete the Children's Sleep Hygiene Scale (CSHS) and the Conners' Parent Rating Scales-Revised (CPRS-R).
The results showed strong negative correlations between the CSHS overall sleep hygiene score and CPRS-R total externalizing behaviors. The CSHS total was also negatively correlated with the CPRS-R cognitive/inattention problems, hyperactivity, perfectionism, ADHD index, and restless and impulsivity total scores among others. Further, the CSHS physiological, cognitive, emotional, environmental, and bedtime routine subscales were also significantly negatively correlated with externalizing behaviors on the CPRS-R.
"The parental reports indicate poorer sleep hygiene is associated with both internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, specifically those associated with ADHD symptoms," said Witcher. "While no causation can be inferred, an overlap between daytime behavior problems, poor sleep hygiene, and potentially problematic bedtime behaviors in snoring children may exist and deserves further study."
Snoring is a sound made in the upper airway of your throat as you sleep. It normally occurs as you breathe in air. It has been found in all age groups. Between 10-12 percent of children are found to snore. Almost everyone is likely to snore at one time or another.
Snoring can, however, be indicative of a more serious condition, namely, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which refers to a sleep-related breathing disorder that causes one's body to stop breathing during sleep. OSA occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway, which prevents air from getting into the lungs.
Parents who suspect that their child might be suffering from OSA, or another sleep disorder, are encouraged to consult with their child's pediatrician, who will refer them to a sleep specialist.
Children should follow these steps to get a good night's sleep:
- Follow a consistent bedtime routine.
- Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.
- Get a full night's sleep every night.
- Avoid foods or drinks that contain caffeine, as well as any medicine that has a stimulant, prior to bedtime.
- Do not go to bed hungry, but don't eat a big meal before bedtime either.
- The bedroom should be quiet, dark and a little bit cool.
- Get up at the same time every morning.
Experts recommend that children in pre-school sleep between 11-13 hours a night, and school-aged children between 10-11 hours of sleep a night.
An abstract of this research was presented June 13 at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
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