why sleep matters for growing child

Why Sleep Matters so much for your Growing Child

why sleep matters for growing childPoway and Rancho Bernardo, CA

We all need sleep to survive, and remain healthy. The health benefits of sleep are numerous. Among them, your nervous system resets, your brain has a chance to recover from the events of the day, and your body produces key proteins that help bolster your immune system. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is crucial, especially for growing children. Proper sleep, in essence, is the support structure for physical, mental, and emotional growth. Your sleep apnea dentist in Poway Dr. Nicol Cook wants to share with you why proper sleep matters so much for your growing child.

Getting the right amount of sleep supports mental, physical, and emotional growth in children

How does your child perform in school? Is he or she able to learn, remember learned information, and remain focused in class? Does your child struggle to control his or her emotions? Getting adequate sleep is tied to all of this. While a sleepless night does happen from time to time, children who consistently live with sleep deprivation are more prone to obesity, as well as hyperactivity disorders such as ADD and ADHD.

Sometimes, taking simple steps at home can help improve your child’s quality of sleep. These measures may include keeping a regular schedule of bedtimes and wake times throughout the week, including the weekend, or having your child shut off electronic devices and cease screen time 30-60 minutes before going to bed. However, there also are instances where children never feel well rested, no matter when their bedtime begins. These children have trouble getting into the deepest stage of sleep because they may be affected by a sleep-breathing disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea.

Get the facts on sleep apnea in children

A child with sleep apnea experiences a blockage of their airway that either makes breathing more difficult or cuts off the flow of air altogether. These blockages may occur because of a collapse of soft tissue in the throat, or because of enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Because of this restricted airflow, the brain sends signals to the body that it needs to wake up to breathe. In these instances, a child is not getting the rest he or she needs to develop and remain healthy.

Treating sleep apnea in children

Children with enlarged soft tissue of the throat may benefit from having their tonsils or adenoids, and in some cases both, removed to provide a wider airway. However, surgery may be recommended in only severe cases or as a last resort treatment option. Otherwise, sleep apnea may be treated by non-surgical means such as oral appliance therapy. Dr. Cook offers custom-made oral appliances for treating obstructive sleep apnea. These specially made oral appliances work by gently gliding the lower jaw forward in effort to widen the airway. During your child’s consultation, she will discuss the best treatment option for your child.

Pediatric sleep apnea treatment in Poway

At Smiles by Dr. Cook, we believe that any case of sleep apnea should be taken seriously. Therefore, we recommend that even children should be screened for this sleep-breathing disorder. If you notice that your child breathes with his or her mouth open or snores while sleeping, these signs can be indicative of sleep apnea. Also, keep your eyes out for behavioral problems, poor performance in school, and a disinterest in once-loved activities such as sports or a special hobby. Ignoring your child’s sleep apnea may later increase their risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. At Smiles by Dr. Cook, we can provide a simple airway assessment to determine whether your child has sleep apnea, and then recommend the best mode of treatment.

To schedule an appointment, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.