That, in turn, may lead to attention problems the next day. In one study of 5- to 7-year-olds, snoring was more common among children with mild ADHD than in the other children. In another study, kids who snored were almost twice as likely as their peers to have ADHD. However, that doesn't prove that snoring caused ADHD.
Children who snore tend to score worse on tests of attention, language abilities, and overall intelligence. Some studies have shown that taking out the tonsils and adenoids may result in better sleep and improved behavior without the need for medications.
People with sleep apnea have brief episodes when they stop breathing, though they don't know it. These episodes can happen frequently throughout the night.
As with adults, children with sleep apnea will be tired during the day. They may have problems concentrating and might have other symptoms related to lack of sleep. For instance, they may be irritable.
Sleep apnea in children is treatable. Your pediatrician or an ear, nose, and throat specialist can determine whether your child's tonsils are enlarged enough to possibly block the airway and cause sleep apnea.
To confirm the diagnosis, the child may get a sleep study that's done in a special laboratory. Not every child with enlarged tonsils or with loud snoring has sleep apnea.
Surgery is the treatment of choice for kids with enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Other treatments are available for those with restricted nighttime breathing due to allergies or other causes.