Sleep Apnea More Prevalent Among Children, Can Impact Grades

Nemours Children’s Health director of preventive cardiology Dr. Carissa Baker-Smith stated in a recent interview that disrupted and poor sleep in children could be linked to difficulty focusing in the daytime. This, she added, could negatively affect their performance in school.

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder known to cause serious health problems. When untreated, sleep apnea causes an individual’s breathing to stop repeatedly while they’re sleeping. This, in turn, causes loud snoring and fatigue in the daytime, despite having a full night’s sleep.

The main types of sleep apnea are:

Central sleep apnea

This occurs when an individual’s brain doesn’t send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing, thereby triggering intermittent breathing.

Obstructive sleep apnea

This is the most common type of apnea and occurs when an individual’s throat muscles relax and air can’t flow freely when the person is asleep.

Complex sleep apnea syndrome

This occurs when an individual suffers from both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.The disorder, which is common in teenagers and kids, may be linked to changes in heart structure and high blood pressure.

The American Heart Association notes that obstructive sleep apnea affects between 30%–60% of obese teenagers and up to 6% of all children. These disruptions in sleep have also been associated with abnormal lipids and insulin resistance and can also elevate blood pressure, which may be harmful to the children’s cardiovascular health when they’re older.

Teachers and parents are advised to remain alert and observe for any symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea in their children as this will allow for earlier diagnosis and treatment.

The most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Frequent urination in the nighttime
  • Night sweats
  • Mood disturbances
  • Cognitive impairment, which includes irritability and forgetfulness
  • Sore throat or dry mouth when an individual awakens
  • Awakening suddenly with a sensation of choking or gasping
  • Restlessness when one is sleeping
  • Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
  • Morning headaches

The risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea in children include:

  • Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
  • Nasal congestion
  • Excess weight or obesity
  • Family history
  • A narrowed airway
  • Medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure

Parents or guardians who notice any of these symptoms should talk to their child’s pediatrician, who may refer the child to an otolaryngologist if their tonsils are enlarged. Resetting children’s bedtimes so that they can get the recommended hours of sleep every night may also be helpful.

Baker-Smith recommends that children aged 13 to 18 should sleep for 8 to 10 hours while those aged 6 to 12 should sleep for 9 to 12 hours. Additionally, kids aged between 2 to 5 should get between 10 to 13 hours of sleep while those under 2 years should sleep for 11 to 14 hours.

If sleep apnea is positively diagnosed, remedies made by companies such as Vivos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VVOS) can be of great help in addressing this condition which has the potential to trigger several other complications.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Vivos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VVOS) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/VVOS

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