Children who are between three and six years old who snore are more likely to have symptoms of anxiety and depression than children who do not snore. In addition, these children have more attention and language problems.
These are the results of a Finnish study of 89 preschool age children, 43 of which snored at least once a week according to their parents. The researchers, led by Dr. Eeva T. Aronen, of Helsinki University Central Hospital, found a higher rate of mood problems among the snorers, especially mood problems such as symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Another finding of the study is that children who snore are more likely to have other sleep problems also, such as nightmares, talking in their sleep, or difficulties going to bed. Tests of brain function also showed some significant differences between the snorers and non-snorers, including decreased attention and language skills among children who snored.
“Our study brings out snoring as a possible risk factor for mood problems and cognitive impairment in preschool-aged children,” said Dr. Aronen. “Overall, 22 percent of snoring children had mood disorder symptoms severe enough to warrant clinical evaluation, compared to 11 percent of the children who did not snore.”
“Surprisingly and against our expectations, behavioral types of problems, such as aggressive and hyperactive behavior, were no more frequent among preschool-aged children who snored in this study,” Aronen added.
Snoring is a common symptom of sleep-disordered breathing, which is caused by obstruction of the upper airway during sleep. Knowing the mental health and developmental impact of sleep-disordered breathing in preschool-aged children will help pediatricians and other health care professionals recognize the underlying sleep problem, Aronen and colleagues believe. “This makes intervening possible before underachieving at school or before more difficult emotional and/or behavioral symptoms develop,” they wrote in their report.
The findings of the study were published in the in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.
A Northwestern University research study has found that women who frequently snore (at least three nights a week) run a significantly higher risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy than women who are non-snorers.
The study, the first to identify a relationship between snoring to gestational diabetes, also included other factors that can contribute to gestational diabetes, including age, ethnicity, and body mass index.
The study tracked 189 women through their pregnancies. The women completed a sleep survey when they were between six and 20 weeks pregnant and then again during their third trimester. The researchers found that women who snored had a 14.3 percent chance of developing gestational diabetes, as opposed to 3.3 percent for those who were non-snorers.
Another finding of the study is that women who previously did not snore may begin snoring during pregnancy. In the early stage of the study only 11 percent of the women being tracked reported frequent snoring. However, 16.5 percent reported snoring frequently by the third trimester which represents a 50 percent increase.
The study’s author, Dr. Francesca Facco, says it is not clear why there’s a link between snoring and gestational diabetes. The researcher’s theory is that the increase in weight and fluid retention resulting from pregnancy blocks airflow through the mouth and nose. Poor air flow and diminished oxygen intake can cause what she calls “a cascade of events” in a woman’s body, which leads to increased blood pressure, inflammation, and metabolic changes which can lead to diabetes.
Gestational diabetes, in which blood sugar levels become very high in women who have not previously been diagnosed with the disease, occurs in about 4 percent of pregnant women.
After giving birth the vast majority (90 percent) of women who had developed gestational diabetes become completely symptom free. Eight percent retain impaired glucose tolerance, which can be a precursor to type 2 diabetes, while the remaining two percent come away from their pregnancy with full-blown type 2 diabetes.
Now that the association between snoring and gestational diabetes has been established, Dr. Facco says that healthcare providers should look into sleep therapies as a means of hindering the development of gestational diabetes. Helping he airway stay open while sleeping during pregnancy could be enough to avert the problem.
According to a recent study, children who are overweight and wet the bed at night may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Researchers found that children that were overweight and wet the bed had a higher incidence of OSA. On the other hand, being overweight and bed wetting were not found to be associated with each other.
Dr. Joseph G. Barone, of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey, led the “case-control” study. Dr. Barone and colleagues conducted overnight sleep studies with 149 children between the ages of 5 and 15 with OSA, matched with 139 control children.
The analysis combined the data from the sleep studies with information from medical records, including age, gender, height, weight, frequency of bed wetting, history of snoring, diabetes, nasal allergies, and/or enlarged tonsils.
According to Dr. Barone and his team, there was a significant relationship between both bed wetting and overweight, and OSA.
Bedwetting increased the likelihood of obstructive sleep apnea more than five times and being overweight raised the likelihood of obstructive sleep apnea more than four times. The researchers did note, however, that these associations are independent of each other.
The researchers suggest that physicians consider OSA in overweight children who wet the bed, particularly when they exhibit other symptoms of OSA or are unsuccessful with standard bed wetting treatment programs.
The results of the study were published in the July issue of journal Pediatrics.
Several presentations at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Seattle this month stated that poor quality sleep is associated with increased risk of death.
One of these studies, conducted at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania, suggests that insomnia may be as hazardous as obstructive sleep apnea.
“Insomnia with objective short sleep duration is associated with an activation of the stress system, i.e., higher secretion of cortisol and increased risk of high blood pressure,” said lead author Dr. Alexandros Vgontzas. He and his colleagues studied the effects of insomnia that persisted for at least 1 year and objective short sleep duration on mortality.
Dr. Vgontzas and his team analyzed data from 1741 randomly selected men and women. The mortality rate was nearly twenty percent during the fourteen year follow-up period among men. The mortality for women followed for ten years was just over ten percent.
When compared to men who had normal sleep durations and sleep patterns for at least 6 hours, men with insomnia and shorter sleep duration had up to a 500% increase in mortality risk. The researchers also reported that mortality risk among women with similar characteristics was also higher, however, the association was not statistically significant.
“The longer follow-up of men may explain why we did not have the same finding in women,” said Dr. Vgontzas. “Another possibility is that men are more vulnerable physically to this type of insomnia, i.e., insomnia associated with objective short sleep duration.”
Because “insomnia with objective sleep duration (of less than 6 hours) has significant medical consequences similar to sleep apnea, this type of insomnia should become a medical priority in terms of its detection and treatment,” he said. “At this point there are no studies that have assessed which type of treatment — medication vs. psychotherapy vs. a combination of the two — is more effective,” he added.
The results of a new study suggests that prefabricated thermoplastic oral devices for mandibular advancement are not effective for treating mild sleep apnea, and clinicians should use custom-made appliances instead.
The devices made of thermoplastic material, also kown as “boil-and-bite” devices, are supposed to provide individualized fit and to be an alternative to devices made by professionals from dental casts.
“To date, there have been no studies comparing the efficacy of such prefabricated devices with custom-made devices,” states lead author Dr. Olivier M. Vanderveken, from the University of Antwerp in Belgium.
The team’s findings suggest that, in addition to being poor treatment for sleep apnea, thermoplastic devices aren’t useful for screening patients for response to mandibular advancement therapy.
This study was conducted using 35 patients with mild sleep apnea during a 4 month cross-over trial. The patients were treated with each type of device separated by a 1-month period.
The custom-made devices were created using a plaster cast of the patient’s mouth and construction bites. These devices significantly reduced the apnea-hypopnea index. However, the prefabricated appliances did not.
Approximately one third of the patients treated with prefabricated appliances failed to consistently retain the device in their mouths at night. The total failure rate with such devices was over 69%. Sixty-three percent of patients who failed with prefabricated devices, succeeded with custom-made devices.
Eighty-two percent of patients reported a preference for custom-made devices and 9% of subjects indicated no preference.
“Our results suggest that the thermoplastic device cannot be recommended as a therapeutic option nor can it be used as a screening tool to find good candidates for mandibular advancement therapy,” the authors conclude.
The study was published in the July 15th edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
A recent study finds that stroke patients spend the majority of their sleep time on their backs which may contribute to development of sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common problem in which soft tissues in the back of throat repeatedly collapse during sleep causing breathing to stop for brief moments. Snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness are common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. The condition can be effectively treated with a small machine called a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device that blows air into the throat which prevents the tissues from collapsing.
To develop their analysis, the researchers performed full sleep testing of 30 hospitalized stroke patients. Their analysis included monitoring the sleep positions. The average patient age was 67 years.
“Sleep apnea is very common after stroke and is associated with poor outcome,” Dr. Devin L. Brown and colleagues from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, write. Sleeping on the back, which is also known as “supine sleep,” is known contributor worsening sleep apnea in the general population.
The patients spent the “vast majority” of their sleep time in the supine position, the investigators found. In fact, almost two thirds of the patients spent no time asleep in any other position.
The analysis also showed that the amount of time spent sleeping supine increased with the severity of the stroke.
“Given the high (rate) of supine sleep identified, research into positional therapy for stroke patients with sleep apnea seems warranted,” Brown’s team concludes.
The results of their study were published in the journal Stroke