Have you ever examined the sleep habits of your children? According to the National Sleep Foundation, Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder that affects more than 18 million adults and 2% to 3% of children of all ages.
A few questions to ask yourself are: Is your child snoring? Is your child suffering from night sweats? Are there long pauses in their breathing? Are they overly-exhausted in the morning? If so, it may be time for an examination. While most children “grow out of” a sleeping disorder, if a sleep disorder persists without treatment, it could have serious implications.
If you think your child is suffering from Sleep Apnea, here’s what to do:
1. Seek Out A Specialist
Find a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders and Sleep Apnea. There are various tests that can be performed by a specialist designed to examine sleep patterns. In children especially, we recommend finding holistic remedies, such as lifestyle and diet changes, before trying anything else.
2. Take An Exam
The only way to determine if your child is suffering from OSA is to take an official exam ordered by a trained physician. ARES Sleep Test is an exam that Dr. Salerno uses to help diagnose Sleep Apnea. The benefit of this exam is that it can be done in the comfort of your own home, while also spending a fraction of the cost. The ARES Sleep Test has been validated to be as effective as the in-lab exams.
3. Make Necessary Lifestyle Changes
If you determine that your child is in need of treatment, begin by helping them to make healthy lifestyle changes. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly is a crucial step in managing OSA. Encourage the consumption of organic foods and avoid processed foods at all costs. Limit the amount of caffeine intake before bedtime, in order to promote a decent night of sleep. Serve dinner on the earlier side, as the body needs time to absorb nutrients.
We recommend setting a regular bedtime, to help your child fall into a natural body rhythm. This will help to regulate sleep patterns and set the natural sleep cycle.