CHICAGO, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Getting young children to sleep at night is an age-old parental challenge. But once they doze off, are they really getting the quality sleep they need? If not, how do kids with disrupted sleep patterns fair during the day? Dr. Brian Rotskoff, Chicago allergy and asthma expert at Clarity Allergy Center, is dedicated to helping parents understand obstructive sleep apnea in children. His expertise combines the knowledge of an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor, sleep specialist, and allergist.
Studies show that pediatric nasal congestion, childhood snoring, and childhood obstructive sleep apnea can have major impacts on children's behavior and learning. Some experts believe that nighttime airway obstruction, including snoring, may cause as many as 30% of childhood attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) cases.
The daytime symptoms of pediatric sleep apnea and snoring in children include poor school performance, trouble concentrating on tasks, behavioral or social problems, mood issues, and even depression or anxiety—symptoms well-known to parents of children with ADHD. Conversely, kids with ADHD are more likely to snore, be restless sleepers, and have trouble falling asleep. "The connections between sleep and behavior are strong," says Dr. Rotskoff. "But it can be a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. It's difficult to know whether sleep problems cause ADHD or ADHD causes sleep problems. Or, if the problems associated with poor sleep habits are just very similar to those of ADHD."
Key research on pediatric sleep, ADHD, and behavior:
Children with sleep problems such as snoring, apnea, and mouth breathing are 40-100% more likely to develop ADHD-like behavioral problems, as published in the March 2012 journal Pediatrics
Kids who snore are 2-4x as likely to become hyperactive, according to a 2002 University of Michigan study
Special education needs in a child increase by 7% for each year they suffer sleep problems, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22945405
As many as 25% of kids with ADHD have sleep apnea symptoms, says the American Sleep Apnea Association
Short sleep duration and sleeping difficulties in children increase the risk of ADHD behavioral symptoms, http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/123/5/e857.full
"Sleep problems in kids aren't necessarily cause for alarm," reassures Dr. Rotskoff. "But there is significant evidence that if we improve children's sleep quality, their daytime behaviors and abilities will also improve. For some kids, that could mean warding off an ADHD diagnosis or finding new ways to improve learning and social behaviors."
Continued research in the area of pediatric sleep even suggests that removing the adenoids and tonsils of a child with sleep and breathing issues could reduce their likelihood of an ADHD diagnosis. Dr. Rotskoff excels in identifying children at risk for poor daytime functioning as a result of the sleep disturbances caused by significant nasal congestion and snoring.
"Additionally, with thorough allergy testing we may find environmental or pet allergies, or allergic rhinitis, as hindrances to quality sleep," says Dr. Rotskoff. A targeted allergy treatment regimen, including allergy shots or allergy drops, can significantly reduce nasal inflammation and free airways for better breathing and better sleep.
Learn more about helping your child get a good night's sleep at www.clarityallergycenter.com or call 773-877-3500. Clarity Allergy Center has three convenient offices throughout Chicago and Arlington Heights.