Monday, June 7, 2010

Study: Sleep-disordered breathing swells in the summer months

Summertime may spell sleep complications for children with seasonal allergies. Some children develop temporary sleep-disordered breathing similar to sleep apnea about the time school gets out.

The results of a study (#0392) featured at SLEEP 2010, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC, may lead to new treatment strategies.

Sleep-disordered breathing in elementary school-aged children tended to continually increase from June to September before steeply dropping off in November.

Parents of 687 children in grades K-5 filled out questionnaires before each of their children underwent overnight sleep studies in a sleep laboratory in June. The authors continued to observe the children through November.

Children who had one to five breathing pauses per hour of sleep had mild sleep-disordered breathing. The frequency of these cases escalated each month. The authors included controls in the study for factors such as age, body mass index, gender and race.

It’s unclear which allergies may contribute to mild sleep-disordered breathing. Identifying and minimizing the allergic responses through medicine may alleviate the symptoms.

Past research suggests nasal problems such as chronic sinusitis and rhinitis are risk factors for mild sleep-disordered breathing.

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