Learning Difficulties Linked to Snoring

Children Who Snore are at Risk for Learning Difficulties

It has long been known that children who snore and who have obstructive sleep apnoea may have learning difficulties. The relationship however is a complicated one.

In a study recently published in a top medical journal it was found that children who snore and who have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) perform worse in cognitive functioning tests than children who don’t snore.  

The study also found that test performance was worse with more severe grades of OSA.

Summary of Study

The study found that children with OSA had less learning capability than children who did not have OSA. The more severe the OSA the more severe the learning deficit.

  • 1010 children aged 5 to 7 years were recruited from primary schools

  • Children were both snoring and non-snoring
  • All children underwent a sleep study to diagnose obstructive sleep apnoea
  • All children underwent testing of intellectual, memory, attention and language development

Take home Message

If your child snores then speak to your GP and/or seek advice from a paediatric sleep specialist.

Reference:  Hunter SJ, Gozal D, Smith DL, Philby MF, Kaylegian J, Kheirandish-Gozal L.Effect of Sleep-Disordered Breathing Severity on Cognitive Performance Measures in a Large Community Cohort of Young School-Aged Children. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016 Mar 1. [Epub ahead of print]