Sleep problems in kids linked to higher risk of special eductional needs

Most parents struggle at times with getting their kids to sleep. A normal part of infant development is to learn to adjust to a regular day/night sleep cycle, and some find it easier than others. However, when kids develop more serious sleeping disorders such as snoring  and sleep apnea, they could be at a higher risk of needing special education in laters years for speech problems and behavioural disorders.

A large scale study of over 11,000 children found that:

“a history of either SDB (sleep disorded breathing) or BSPs (behavioural sleep problems) in the first 5 years of life was associated with increased likelihood of SEN (special educational needs) at 8 years of age.”

The results highlight the importance of monitoring the quality of sleep in young children. Sleep is not just ‘down-time’. Previous research has shown that the brain is active 24 hours a day and many important processes such as memory consolidation, and even the regulation of emotions happen during sleep time. The results back up another study published in Pediatrics which found that children who snore may have a higher risk of developing behavioural problems later in life.

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