It’s Torture ….
Sleep deprivation is a form of torture as far as I’m concerned. Endless nights of broken sleep for you and your little one is no joke and can have some pretty serious consequences for the whole family, but for some children multiple night time wake-ups can be a sign of something rather serious.
Perhaps it’s actually Sleep Apnoea
Sleep apnoea, or Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) to give it its full name, is a sleep disorder where the child stops breathing. The airway becomes partly, or sometimes completely, blocked meaning they can no longer breathe and in order to correct this the child will instinctively wake up, and to make matter worse this can happen many times a night. Pre-school children aged 3-6 years are particularly susceptible as this is when the tonsils and adenoids go through a growth spurt.
What causes it?
- Enlarged tonsils and adenoids (basically they get in the way)
- Obesity – our heavy weight wrestlers and shot putters of the future are 5 times more likely to suffer with OSA
What are the Symptoms likely to be?
Watch your child sleep as in general children with sleep apnoea will
- be restless
- appear to choke or gasp a lot or stop breathing altogether
- breathe through their mouths or snore loudly
- have breaks in their breathing of more than 10 seconds at a time
- be generally cranky and lethargic, particularly in the mornings, and eventually pre-school/school will start to notice a lack of concentration and participation. They may have headaches in the morning too.
- possibly be prone to bed-wetting, night terrors or heavy perspiration whilst sleeping
Ask for HELP
Does any of this sound familiar? If so a trip to the docs or a chat with the Health Visitor would be a great next step.
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