In recent years, snoring has been linked with health problems in grownups. Now a new study shows it might be associated with kids' bad behavior.
ABC reports on the study, published in the journal Pediatrics: researchers gave sleep questionnaires to the parents of 11,000 children starting at birth and going up to age 7. They found that kids with "sleep-disordered breathing" — snoring, mouth-breathing, or sleep apnea — were more likely to have behavior problems at age 4. By age 7, they were 1.5 times as likely to be hyperactive. They also had higher rates of depression, anxiety, and aggression.
The study authors aren't sure if sleep problems cause behavior issues — kids with sleep difficulties were also more likely to be premature, to have moms who smoked during pregnancy, or to live in poverty, all of which could affect behavior. However, the results do mean that if your kid is acting up, you might want to see if she's sleeping okay. Dr. Stephen Lauer told ABC, "When there are issues of behavioral problems, school performance and especially ADHD concerns, the first question I ask has to do with sleep and snoring." Researchers are doing followup work to determine if surgeries to fix snoring — like removing kids' tonsils or adenoids — change the way they act during the day as well. It wouldn't be so surprising if the answer is yes — after all, when I don't sleep, I have behavior problems too.
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