A Tired Teenager is not normal, just accepted!

Kids should not fall asleep at school!

For those of you with teenagers at home like me, mornings are often a chore.  My daughter isn’t tired when I am ready to go to sleep, she often wakes in the night, and in the morning she is a “bear” to wake up! Sound familiar? Perhaps your child is prone to mood swings, inattention at school, slipping grades? And the teacher is suggesting your child has a learning disorder? Wait just a second…did you ever think it could be her sleep?

Researchers at the University of Arizona studied 263 children between the ages of 10 and 18 during sleep studies over a several year period. They found a high percentage of children in this age group to have Sleep Disordered Breathing, which means they had at least one time per hour of sleep when their oxygen rate decreased 3%, which is considered a significant finding.

The same adolescents with Sleep Disordered Breathing also showed greater amounts of hyperactivity and attention problems, aggressive behavior, and conduct problems. In fact, some of these children had been previously diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) when in fact what they really have is a SBD.

So how can I help my teen?

Your child’s medical doctor can refer her for a Sleep Study to find out what exactly about her sleep is working well, and then make specific recommendations.  As well, some dental offices (such as ours) offer a home-based sleep study device which is a great screening tool to see if sleep is a factor in your teen’s “grouchiness.” Depending upon the results of the sleep study, different treatments may be recommended to help your teen’s sleep. These may include medications or a dental appliance, and the treatments are different depending on the data gathered from the non-invasive study.

My own daughter is scheduled for her sleep study, and we will see what the best method of treatment is for her…so in the end I expect a pleasant, happy, well-rested teen in my home.  Wish me luck!