In this post, we will address every necessary information about Sleep Apnea and also the Best Sleeping Position For a Child With Sleep Apnea.
Sleep Apnea is a disorder that results in children having pauses in their breathing while they sleep. And the two main types of sleep apnea that affect children are obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea (central apnea).
And another type, central apnea, occurs when the part of the brain responsible for breathing doesn’t function properly. It doesn’t send the breathing muscles the normal signals to breathe.
Between 7 and 11 per cent of children have a nightmare breathing issue, which can be sleep apnea, snoring, or something else. And around 90 per cent of them may be undiagnosed.
And noting such signs can help seek an early diagnosis and proper treatment. And if left unsolved, sleep apnea can have significant consequences on a child’s growth, well-being, and behaviour.
So in this post, we will talk about everything you need to know about sleep apnea and the Best Sleeping Position For a Child With Sleep Apnea.
Sleeping Position For Child With Sleep Apnea
Millions of people around the world are affected by sleep apnea, and it is characterised by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep, which can last from a few seconds to several minutes.
There are different types of sleep apnea disorders and the most common of them is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite the effort to breathe.
This leads to a reduction in oxygen levels, causing the person to awaken briefly to re-establish breathing. This can occur multiple times throughout the night and can result in disrupted sleep, making it hard for the person to feel well-rested in the morning.
Sleep apnea as said in the word “sleep” is not just linked to sleep alone but has been linked to several serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and memory problems.
Asus, sleep apnea can lead to daytime sleepiness, which can impact work and daily activities. Treatment options for sleep apnea include lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and avoiding alcohol and sedatives, using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, and undergoing surgery.
It is important for individuals who suspect they may have sleep apnea to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and to discuss the best course of treatment.
Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
There are various symptoms of sleep apnea, seeing there is obstructive and central apnea which are actually similar, with a difference in snoring.
Below are some of the most common symptoms:
- Noisy snoring
- Coughing or choking during sleep
- Halts in breathing
- Inhaling and exhaling through the mouth
- Sleep anxieties
- Bad sleeping Postures.
These symptoms are not only obvious at night, though as for children with restless night sleep because of this disorder, but daytime symptoms can also be fatigue, falling asleep, and finding it hard to wake up in the morning.
But as for Infants and young children with sleep apnea have low chances of a snore, especially those with central apnea. Sometimes the only symptom of sleep apnea in this age group is troubled or disturbed sleep.
Causes Of Sleep Apnea And Risk Factors
There are different causes of such disorder, so are there numerous risk factor to it. Which will all be settled in this section of the article.
First, Sleep Alpnea causes the muscles in the back of the to eat fails/collapse while the child is sleeping, and this make it difficult for them to breathe.
Risk Factor in children is different from the risk factor for adults.
And obsity is a main factor, mainly because it contributes to obstructive sleep apnea in children, Nonetheless, the condition is commonly causes my enlarged tonsils or adenoids in children.
Other risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea in children can include:
- A (Past) Relative With Sleep Apnea
- Having specific medical disorders, such as:
- Cerebral palsy
- Down syndrome
- Sickle cell disease, etc.
Effects Of Untreated Sleep Apnea
Having an untreated Sleep Apnea is a risky move, and this lead to long periods of disturbed sleep, causing chronic daytime fatigue (Especially for children)
This can occur in the child having difficulty paying attention in school. And also they have hyperactivity, causing them to be misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Children with the such untreated disorders face difficulty thriving socially, growth delays, mental delays, heart problems, high blood pressure, high chance of stroke and heart attack in adults
And If sleep apnea is properly treated, these complications will likely be eradicated or maintained well that it won’t affect the patient/child much as it would untreated.
Best Sleeping Position For a Child With Sleep Apnea
The right sleeping position can really go a long way for someone with sleep apnea, and a CPAP machine or other devices can also make significant changes in daily life, which could have a huge impact on the severity of sleep.
Most people on earth have a favourite position in church they like to sleep, but changing it could possibly reduce snoring and improve symptoms of sleep apnea.
Nonetheless, it is worth trying to make a change. And while some people receive recommendations of them sleeping with a tennis ball Velcro-ed to the back of the sleeping cloth, this, obviously, is uncomfortable to roll unto your back. Which isn’t as practical.
Nonetheless, the best sleeping positions to improve sleep apnea are as follows:
- Sleeping On your side.
- Sleeping On your belly.
- Sleeping On your back (only with your head elevated)
Some people might be like, why can I just sleep anyhow? Well because sleep apnea is often worse in the sunshine, I.e., I’m your back position because of gravity- Tsai.
And because there is a change in the structural quality in the back of the throat when lying on the back, making it is easier for the tongue to fall back into the airway and cause obstruction.
Sleeping on your stomach can be uncomfortable, and some people who try it find they wake up with a stiff neck. Choosing a very thin pillow or a pillow made specifically for stomach sleepers may help reduce strain on the neck when lying face down.
And as for those who insist of sleeping on their backs, some sleep apnea victims may have acid reflux, and sleeping on your back with your head elevated is often recommended to reduce symptoms of that condition.
Treatment for sleep apnea in children
There are no really any guidelines pertaining to treating sleep apnea in children. For instance, a doctor might choose not to treat a mild sleep apnea condition without symptoms, at least not immediately.
And some other children are lucky enough to outgrow the disorder so the doctor does is to monitor their condition to observe for any improvements. And the benefits of doing this have to be calculated with the risk of long-time complications from the untreated disorder.
Here in the section of this guide are some of the treatments for sleep
This is applicable in the cause of obesity, doctors commonly recommend physical activity and diet to treat sleep apnea, in such circumstances.
And Nah! This isn’t like the normal steroids men use, Nasal steroids is prescribed to relieve nasal congestion in some cases.
These drugs are usually prescribed for a preliminary period, which often lasts 1-3 months.
In cases when the disorder is caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids, surgical removal is the best way to go about it, to open up the child’s airway.
A study shows that adenoid removal is equally as productive as tonsil and adenoid removal for a child who fulfils the following criteria:
- Below the age of 7
- No childhood Obesity
- Had reasonable, as contradicted to serious, obstructive sleep apnea
- Had small tonsils
- Continuous positive airway pressure therapy
Children wear this appliance, to keep their jaw in a forward position, keep the tongue in the right place, and also keep the airway open.
And this appliance is more effective, and productive, which is why children tend to tolerate it way better than others, so they’re more likely to utilize them at night.
It is important to note that Oral appliances can’t help every child, but they might be a choice for older children who no longer experience facial bone growth.
Conclusion on Best Sleeping Position For a Child With Sleep Apnea
It is important to know that, in the process of adjusting to a new sleeping position, be forewarned that it may take a period of trial and error to fund the most suited and comfortable position that delivers symptoms. And make sure you keep trying till you find the one that suits you best