Research findings have revealed that the way children breathe affects their brain. Lack of oxygen and sleep deprivation have a major impact on a child’s behaviour. When less oxygen is able to reach the brain and sleep is compromised, the child’s ability to pay attention and concentrate at school is reduced, which may be mistaken for ADHD.
As neuroscientist Matthew Walker states:
“It is clear that a tired, under-slept brain is little more than a leaky memory sieve, in no state to receive, absorb or efficiently retain an education” Walker, M. “Why we Sleep” 2017.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 9-11 hours of sleep a night for school-aged children and 8-10 for teenagers, but Sleep Quality is as important as quantity.
???? Disrupted sleep can reduce the time spent in deep restorative sleep and stage 4 REM sleep which is vital because it stimulates the areas of the brain that are essential in learning and memory.
As of 2016, 6.1 million children aged 2-17 years living in the U.S. had been diagnosed with ADHD. (National Prevalence of ADHD and Treatment: New Stats for Children & Adolescents, Centre of Disease Control & Prevention) It is estimated that around 9% of cases need medication to treat it.
MOUTH BREATHING DISRUPTS SLEEP
Babies are born nose breathers, it’s the natural way to breathe. Children who mouth breathe are more likely to snore and develop Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a condition where breathing pauses for 10- 30 seconds or even longer (AASM). When this happens, the brain is alerted that there is a problem and arouses the child many times during the night, which makes them tired and irritable the next day.
WHAT CAUSES MOUTH BREATHING?
A child with a constantly open mouth will very likely grow into an adult with flatter facial features, less prominent cheekbones, a longer face, droopier eyes, a narrower palate and even a small lower jaw. Maintaining nasal breathing can prevent negative growth patterns like these.
If the cause is huge tonsils then removing them might be an option. If the problem is structural and a child can’t close their lips over flared front teeth then the solution may be orthodontic treatment.
A thorough dental or ENT consultation will help determine whether mouth breathing is a problem.
CHECK YOUR CHILD IN THE MORNING.
Getting up in the morning should not be a daily battle. Dark circles and bags under the eyes, tantrums and fits would be signs that your child may not be getting enough sleep.
➡️ CONTROLLING MOUTH BREATHING DURING SLEEP can reduce the time it takes to correct habitual mouth breathing in children and sleepQ+ is used by children as young as 7 seven.
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