Alaska Sleep Education Center

Asthma and Sleep Apnea : Hand-in-Hand?

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jun 22, 2018 9:02:00 AM

  Researchers are puzzled as to why there seems to be a significant rise on rates of asthma in children compared to previous years. A study released from the CDC reported that nearly one in 10 children and one in 12 Americans have asthma. From 2001 to 2009, the overall rate of asthma increased 12.3%. In 2013, it cost $57 billion to care for asthma patients.

 Despite lower rates of smoking and second-hand smoke, the prevalence of asthma increased in all demographic groups, including men, women, whites, blacks, and Hispanics. Possible reasons for this sudden increase include various allergens, traffic fumes, pesticides, certain plastics, diet and obesity.

  Here’s one more possibility: Obstructive sleep apnea. We know that children are more overweight than ever, and along with this it’s expected that sleep apnea will increase as well. Multiple breathing pauses at night can literally suction up your stomach juices into your throat, which can then reach your nose or your lungs. This causes your nose and your lungs to become inflamed and overreactive to allergies, fumes, and even weather changes.

  Lack of deep sleep also causes your nervous system and your immune system to become hypersensitive, aggravating this vicious cycle.

Notice how it’s not just asthma rates that are going up. Many of the other childhood related conditions are going up as well: obesity, ADHD, autism, allergies, etc. These are all part of the same continuum that unfortunately, are treated as independent conditions. With multiple breathing pauses at night, any of these conditions can occur or aggravate an already existing condition.

  Having an asthma attack in the middle of the night can be a frightening and terrifying experience. Typically, these attacks happen in the early morning hours, just before awakening. 

  Now there’s research showing that poorly controlled asthma during pregnancy can increase a woman’s chances of developing preeclampsia (50%) and premature births (25%). Furthermore, infants born to mothers with poorly controlled asthma delivered babies that were about 0.2 pounds less than those born to mothers without asthma.

  We typically think of asthma being a separate, distinct condition from obstructive sleep apnea, and it’s treated in completely different ways. However, it’s not just coincidence that nocturnal awakenings from asthma and the most intense periods of apnea occur at the same time in the middle of the night—the early morning hours.

  The early morning hours are when REM sleep is most prominent, and this is the time when throat muscles are most relaxed. Having an apnea also is known to cause reflex, which is known to reach the throat as well as the nose and the lungs. In one small study in people with sleep apnea and asthma, treating sleep apnea with CPAP significantly improved nocturnal asthma symptoms. 

  We know that any degree of stress on the mother’s body can lead to a higher rate of pregnancy-related complications and low birth rates. Even snoring by the mother alone was found to result in lower Apgar scores in newborn infants. Apneas are also known to raise blood pressure and promote insulin resistance. Stress hormones are also known to increase when you have apneas.

  In light of all these findings, it’s not surprising that pregnant women with poorly controlled asthma have higher complications rates. This is another great example of “connecting the dots” between two seemingly unrelated conditions, which only adds to support my sleep-breathing paradigm.

At The Alaska Sleep Clinic, we provide consultation and therapeutic management for a wide variety of pediatric sleep disorders. We understand that your child's health is important to you and we want to assure you that our Board Certified Sleep Physicians are highly adept at treating child sleep disorders.  Click the link below for a free 10 minute phone consultation.

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Topics: Pediatrics, OSA in children, allergies, asthma

What is Behavioral Insomnia in Children? Types, Prevalence, Treatment

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jun 20, 2018 9:00:00 PM

 

Quality sleep is extremely important in the physiological, cognitive, and emotional development of children. At different stages of a child's development sleep needs change. In order to help children get as much quality sleep as possible, parents should have a strong understanding of the sleep requirements necessary for their children at various stages in their lives.

One study found that approximately 27% of children are sleeping less than is recommended for their age. Sleep debt in children can lead to an array of consequences including inattention, irritability, hyperactivity, impulse control problems, behavioral issues at home and school, learning troubles, and overall quality of life.

Poor sleep in children often leads to sleep troubles for the parents as well. When children frequently wake in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep, most parents respond by waking up themselves and helping soothe them back to sleep. Over time both the parents and the children can become sleep deprived.

Of all the potential sleep disorders found in young children, Behavioral insomnia is the most frequently cited, surpassing other sleep disorders including breathing disorders like sleep apnea (1-3%), sleep related movement disorders such as restless leg syndrome (2-8%), and parasomnias such as night terrors (5-35%) [source].

 
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Topics: Infant, children, Pediatrics

Child Anxiety and Sleep

Posted by Julia Higginson on Jun 5, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Are the phrases “There’s a monster under my bed! I’m too scared to sleep!” or “Don’t leave. Just one more story, please!” part of your nighttime battle to get your child to sleep? You might be thinking your child is just being difficult but the reality is that your child might be having sleep related anxiety.

You child might be afraid of the dark, of a monster under the bed, or bad guys coming into the room, just to name a few fears. The fear of something scary happening while a child sleeps can cause them to feel anxious about wanting to fall asleep.

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Topics: Pediatrics, stress, moms, baby, anxiety

Pediatric Sleep Studies: Prepare Yourself and Your Child

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Apr 24, 2018 12:00:00 PM

 

We utilize the same tests used to diagnose and rule out sleep disorders in adults for children. However, because children are more likely to displace sensors during the night, we prefer to use attended studies rather than home monitoring.

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Topics: sleep assessment, sleep and children, Pediatrics

Teens, sleep, and depression: The Link Parents Should Know

Posted by Julia Higginson on Apr 9, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Constant moodiness, sleeping in late, copping an attitude, and even being depressed are all seen as typical teenage behavior. But what if your teen just being a teen is really your teen reacting to the effects of sleep deprivation.

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Topics: Pediatrics, teens, behavioral psychology, depression, suicide, sleep habits, losing sleep

Student Athletes and Sleep

Posted by Julia Higginson on Mar 13, 2018 10:31:00 AM

Have you ever heard the young athletes say they eat, sleep, and breath their sport? Well, it turns out that sleeping really is an important part of training for any young athlete.

Young athletes tend to focus on nutrition and training schedules, yet sleep may be more critical to their overall health and performance.

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Topics: Pediatrics, sports, losing sleep

Pediatric Sleep Studies: Prepare Yourself and Your Child

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jan 29, 2018 8:56:18 PM

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What to Expect from Your Child's Sleep Study

We utilize the same tests used to diagnose and rule out sleep disorders in adults for children. However, because children are more likely to displace sensors during the night, we prefer to use attended studies rather than home monitoring.

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Topics: sleep assessment, sleep and children, Pediatrics

How to Treat Children with Sleep Apnea Using CPAP Machines

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jan 24, 2018 4:01:58 PM

Philips Respironics is another popular brand among CPAP users. They offer a variety of masks from nasal pillow masks to full-face masks.  This article will discuss the Wisp Nasal Mask and the DreamWear Nasal Cradle mask.

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Topics: CPAP Masks, children, CPAP, sleep and children, Pediatrics, cpap accessories, Family, sleeping

Lack of Sleep May Raise Child's Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Aug 22, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Children who get too little sleep may be more likely to have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.

The study of more than 4,500 youth found a link between kids' sleep habits and certain diabetes "risk markers." Children who slept fewer hours each night tended to be a bit heavier and show more insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. When the body starts to become resistant to insulin, it can be a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

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Topics: Sleep, Pediatrics, diabetes

Sleep Apnea in Children: Symptoms, Health Risks, Diagnosis & Treatment

Posted by Kevin Phillips on Aug 26, 2015 7:26:43 PM

 

One of the greatest problems in generating awareness for sleep apnea is that all too often people have a preconceived notion of what a typical sleep apnea patient looks like. When most people think about a patient suffering from sleep apnea, an image of a middle-aged overweight male comes to mind.
And while this image can be fairly accurate in many cases, it is by no means a full representation of all those who could potentially be afflicted with sleep apnea. Many women suffering from sleep apnea get diagnosed with insomnia rather than sleep apnea due to this misconception.

And worse, many children with sleep apnea are instead diagnosed with other disorders including ADHD because they don't fit the typical patient profile.

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Topics: sleep apnea, Pediatrics

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