Question: Not only does she snore loudly though, she also sometimes stops breathing for a second.
I’m worried. What should I do?Kevin’s AnswerHi there,I’m very glad you decided to ask what you should do. If your daughter is snoring loudly and appears to have moments where she stops breathing in her sleep it seems very likely that she may be experiencing sleep apnea.Obstructive sleep apnea causes the airway to close during sleep, which makes the sleeper stop breathing until he or she awakens for a second or two to take a breath.The word “apnea” means to stop breathing. Sleep apnea is VERY common in adults, but it certainly does occur in children as well, although a bit less frequently. In any case though, sleep apnea should be taken very seriously because it puts a lot of strain on the body to have to struggle to breathe every night. Sleep apnea also usually shows itself with fatigue, moodiness, or hyperactivity during the day. If your daughter does have sleep apnea, each time she stops breathing at night she would have to wake up for a split second to take a breath, which seriously compromises her body’s ability to get a good night’s sleep.This in turn can lead to problems growing, because the growth spurts that would normally take place during deep sleep get disrupted when the child awakens to breathe.Since you are noticing your daughter struggle to breathe in her sleep, you should definitely bring her in to see a sleep physician. The physician will be able to examine your daughter’s sleep and tell you the best way to go about making her sleep better.You are definitely right in being concerned, and you did the right thing to ask for help. Now you must take one more step and see a sleep doctor. There’s more information you can read about how sleep apnea in children leads to daytime tiredness or hyperactivity here.And you can also learn more about what sleep apnea is and how it happens here.If you have more questions, please feel free to follow up by clicking the “post comment” link below.