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Adolescent Sleep Apnea Can Cause Future Problems

Children are known to be sick often, especially when school begins and contact with other children becomes more frequent. Despite best efforts to prevent the spread of germs, kids rarely go through childhood without suffering from problems such as the flu, chicken pox, and other infections that are usually temporary and easily treated.

Though most people expect their children to suffer from at least a few minor illnesses, they’re often surprised to learn that they can also suffer from more serious conditions, including sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Sleep disorders often cause disturbances to the body’s sleep cycle, and studies have demonstrated that these disturbances, if continuous and left untreated, can lead to future consequences.

During adolescence, the body is growing, changing, and adapting. As children adapt physically and psychologically, both the quantity and quality of sleep becomes critical. As they mature, children tend to move toward a new sleep cycle associated with later bedtimes and later waking. This new pattern can have a large impact on how children function, and sleep disturbances can have a big effect during this critical period in their lives.

Mood, Emotional Responses, And Sleep — The Connection

Studies have shown that sleep and emotional responses are tightly linked. Sleep deprivation often leads to problems with emotional functions and responses. The less sleep we get, the harder it becomes to function and respond emotionally. The same occurs when the quality of our sleep is lacking.

So what does this have to do with sleep apnea? Since sleep apnea is a known cause of sleep deprivation due to nightly episodes of random awakenings; it is no surprise that sleep apnea can affect a child’s emotions. In fact, sleep apnea has been linked to depression, anxiety and a lack of concentration. Children who do not get enough sleep may be more likely to perform poorly in school due to poor concentration and lower energy levels.

Anyone can suffer from sleep apnea, from adolescents to senior citizens. Call or email Dr. Dunayer at our Rockland County dental office today to learn more about sleep apnea symptoms and the available treatments.

By |December 6th, 2011|Uncategorized|
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