Lack of sleep in children: what is it and how to recognize it – 06/21/2022

If your child is snoring, restless sleep, difficulty concentrating and poor school performance, mood swings and spends restless days, beware: he may have a lack of sleep, which is more common in children than in adults. Rarely found, but if not diagnosed and treated properly, can lead to health problems, such as high blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, and even a child’s development. Can also affect. Therefore, it is important for parents to be aware, so that the diagnosis can be made as soon as possible.

According to the Brazilian Society of Pulmonology and Tescology (SBPT), it is estimated that approximately 10% of children snore, and 1% to 3% of them experience insomnia and poor quality sleep. In adults, this number is over 30%. But what is sleep deprivation? “These are frequent breathing breaks that occur during a person’s sleep, blocking the flow of air to the lungs. The person stops breathing a little and comes back, stops and comes back,” the hospital said. Explained by Leonardo Gollart, a neurologist who specializes in sleeping pills. Israelita Albert Einstein.

Gollart points out that recurrent sleep disturbances have two main consequences: The first is that the process of oxygenation in the blood is accelerating, which keeps the brain awake. Being alert causes the brain to become micro-awake, disrupting sleep. One of the many management consequences of this phenomenon may be a decrease in the production of growth hormone – which can affect the proper development of the baby. The neurologist said: “This is one of the major problems because sleep deprivation lowers the levels of growth hormone. There are many studies on this in adolescents, but this level returns to normal when dementia is treated. “

The second consequence of a continuous break in breathing is that sleep becomes insufficient because it is so fragmented, which can have side effects the next day, such as changes in behavior, irritability and lack of learning. “In addition, another important effect of sleep deprivation, which is widely studied in adults, but can have an effect on children, is metabolic changes, along with hormonal disorders that link our metabolism.” , Regulates appetite and fat storage. Overweight, obesity and other changes, “the doctor warned.

Diagnosis of sleep apnea is usually medical, but in certain cases it can be confirmed by polysomnography (a test that measures sleep quality). “[O diagnóstico] It often takes longer than that, but increasingly, the knowledge of sleeping pills is becoming more common in medical practice. Nowadays, pediatricians often ask about the quality of a baby’s sleep during a visit. The diagnosis is more up-to-date, but it still needs to be accelerated, “said Golart.

Structural changes for treatment

Treatment of insomnia in children is primarily structural. First of all, if the child is obese, losing weight may be effective. Changing the sleeping position can also help (sleeping on the baby’s side instead of his back). If these movements do not work, you may need to undergo surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids (when applicable) or CPAP Pushes) to stop breathing. Prevents from occurring during sleep).

“In children, only facial growth and development can help reduce insomnia. Therefore, CPAP is usually used for a short time and the child gets better soon. The difference is that adults People cannot use the device for a short time because there is still no other solution, “said the neurologist.

Special attention to children

To help parents and children identify the problem, Instituto do Sono, in collaboration with AFIP (Association Fund for Assistance to Research), launched an edition of the Dona Ciência comic book dedicated to the subject. The magazine aims to playfully provide scientific broadcast material, not just for children, but with simple language, with a special focus on children.

“At Dona Ciência we talk about many current topics: the vaccine, oral hygiene, breastfeeding. And we also talk about the importance of sleep, which is a third of our lives,” said Monica. Levy Anderson, director of education and research, said. Instituto do Sono and the creator of the collection.

The SBPT lists some symptoms for parents to observe in their children:

Snoring, which may or may not be loud but occurs every night.
* Noisy breathing, which is worse when the baby is lying on his back.
* Breathing stops and when breathing resumes, it is often accompanied by loud snoring.
* Difficulty breathing through the nose
سو Sleep with your mouth open (your mouth may be open during the day)
* Provocation at night, with changes in sleeping position
* Wetting the bed, especially if the child is already in control.

“Whenever a child is restless and noisy, they need to be checked by a professional. No snoring is normal. All noise, if it is repeated and occurs three to four times a week. , Should serve as a warning sign for parents to look for. Special help “concludes, says otorhinolaryngologist Sandra Dória, a sleep medicine specialist and a researcher at Instituto do Sono.

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