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Study: Snoring in Children Linked to Hyperactivity

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Parents know that a good night’s sleep can make or break kids’ behavior the next day – but now new research proves that there’s a connection. A UK study found that a lack of sleep, caused by problems such as snoring and sleep apnea, can contribute to behavioral disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) in kids under seven.

Plus: 6 Big Kid Sleep Problems

The study, which examined the sleep and behavior habits of 11,000 UK children, is the first to officially recognize a link between sleep-disordered breathing and behavioral issues such as hyperactivity and ADHD. Dr. Karen Bonuck, the study’s lead researcher, determined that children with sleep issues were between 40% and 100% more likely to develop neurobehavioral problems by the age of seven.

Plus: Bedtime Rituals for Big Kids

Even bigger news: researchers believe these effects can be reversed. "Often parents won't make the connection and mention them to the [pediatrician],” says Marianne Davey of the British Snoring and Sleep Apnea Society, “so this label of ADHD is given to the child, and sometimes they are even given drugs. This is wrong, and if the sleep problem is addressed, the behavior will improve almost immediately." 

Plus: Improve Your Kid’s Sleep Habits

Do you think sleeping problems and behavior problems like ADHD and hyperactivity are linked?