It’s becoming more widely known that sleep disordered breathing leads to poor behavior in children. Estimates show that as many of 25% of children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD may actually have an underlying sleep problem that can be treated – resulting in better behavior and improved learning skills.
Most often a sleep problem is identified in children and then health providers, researchers and parents look for behavior issues. A new study at the University of Michigan approached children, behavior and their sleep with a new twist: the study first looked for children with certain behaviors, and then looked at the sleep patterns of those children.
The cross sectional survey at the University of Michigan showed some very intriguing results: kids who show aggressive behavior in school are twice as likely to have symptoms of sleep disordered breathing as children that do not exhibit aggressive behaviors. Of the 341 students surveyed by the researchers, about 32% were assessed by their parent or teacher as having a conduct problem via a standardized behavior questionnaire. Parents of these children also completed a standardized pediatric sleep questionnaire, and scores for identification of symptoms for sleep disordered breathing (snoring, stopping breathing, daytime sleepiness, etc.) were collected.
So aggressive kids appear to be sleepy kids, and it is not always because they are snoring (which might make you think they are not getting good quality sleep). What could be the culprits?
- Not getting kids to bed on time
- Kids rooms not being conducive to sleep
- Formal sleep disorders
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