Quick Study: To Sleep, Perchance to Snore Isn’t Good for Kids

Persistent snoring in young children may be linked with behavioral problems.

children's health, sleep, sleep habits, snoring, behavioral problems

Silence is golden, especially when it comes to a child's sleep. Snoring may be linked with behavioral problems. (Photo: Robert Deutschman/Getty Images)

Jeannine Stein, a California native, wrote about health for the Los Angeles Times. In her pursuit of a healthy lifestyle she has taken countless fitness classes, hiked in Nepal and got in a boxing ring.

The study:  Persistent snoring during the toddlers years could be linked with behavioral problems, a study published online today in the journal Pediatrics suggests. Researchers surveyed 249 children and their mothers about sleep habits. Kids who had a bad snoring habit at the ages of two and three were more likely to have behavior problems compared with those who never snored, or kids who snored at age two or age three, but not both years.

The behaviors associated with snoring included hyperactivity, depression and being distracted. More than a third of persistent snorers reported having issues, but only 10 percent of non-snorers and 12 percent of temporary snorers did. Having a lower socioeconomic status and being breastfed for short periods or not at all were the biggest risk factors linked with continual snoring. Although researchers didn’t find a cause and effect between snoring and behavior, they do think persistent snoring could have adverse effects on the brain.

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What we already know: Loud snoring has been connected in other studies with behavioral problems in children, but that research hasn’t looked at the relationship between the two or at what can predict snoring.

What it means for you: Your child’s constant snoring may be cute, but it could also portend serious behavior problems. Make sure to talk about snoring issues with your pediatrician at checkups.

What are some tricks for making sure kids get a good night's sleep? Let us know in the comments.

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