Sleeping Angels

How children's sleep affects their health and well being.

Connecting the Dots Between Snoring And Attention Deficit

How snoring can be the cause of your child's behavior problem.

Jenny from Wisconsin writes:

Dear Dr. Rosen,

My 6

year old was recently diagnosed with ADHD, and our pediatrician recommended starting him on medication. He has always snored, but it seems to have gotten worse this last year.  I’ve read that there can be an association between snoring and ADHD, and wanted to ask if treating his snoring might improve his behavior.

Dear Jenny,

Thank you for your email. Snoring, choking, snorting and gasping during sleep can be signs of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the throat collapses during sleep and prevents air from getting into the lungs.  It certainly is true that children with obstructive sleep apnea have a much higher incidence of behavioral problems than children without it, and that these often resolve once it is treated.  While it is possible that the two are unrelated, I’d suggest talking with your child’s pediatrician about the snoring and asking whether it might not be a good idea for him to have a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis. Most cases of obstructive sleep apnea in young children are cured by removal of the tonsils and adenoids.

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Dennis Rosen, M.D.

Learn how to help your child get a great night’s sleep with my new book:

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Successful Sleep Strategies for Kids: Helping Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up With a Smile!



Dennis Rosen, M.D., is a pediatric sleep specialist who practices at Children's Hospital Boston.


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