Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bratty Child? Is He Getting Good Sleep?

It isn’t news that children who are tired are just plain ugly to be around. The bad attitudes, the negative response and lack of engagement are signals to any caretaker that the child under their care needs a nap, or to simply to go to bed for the evening.

Sadly, we are now seeing a larger and larger percentage of children with sleep disorders. A team of eight researchers from Ann Arbor, Michigan investigated whether urban school children with aggressive behaviors were more likely than their peers to display symptoms of sleep disordered breathing. If this is true, this type of breathing effectively inhibits oxygen flow to the brain, creating behaviors very similar to an overly-tired toddler.

The results of the study indicate that aggressive children (e.g. with conduct problems, bullying, or discipline referrals), in comparison to their non-aggressive peers more often had symptoms suggestive of sleep-disordered breathing. Children with conduct problems were more likely to snore habitually. However, sleepiness, and not snoring, predicted the conduct issues.

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