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4 Year Old Girl Snores and Keeps Coming To Mommy's Bed

by Amy
(San Francisco)

My 4 years old girl has always been snoring lightly throughout her sleep and can never sleep through the night. I tried different medication as suggested by her doc such as zyrtec, singluair and other nose spray and doesnt seem to work.

She would wake up 2 to 3 times a night and come to mommy's bed. Her body stirs as she snores and she does not seem to fall into a deep sleep. She wakes up twice for bathroom. Is this symptom of sleep apena? Or is this psychological? thank you.

Kevin: Hi Amy, I would certainly get her checked out for sleep apnea. The frequent bathroom awakenings is a clue. Sleep apnea in children often confuses the urinary system into thinking the body is not sleeping. When the body is thought not to be sleeping, more urine is produced at night than otherwise would be. This frequently leads to bedwetting in a child, although perhaps your daughter is able to wake up on her own to go to the bathroom despite this effect.

Also, if the snoring is not a result of allergies, those medicines wouldn't work anyway. Perhaps the snoring is instead a result of her airway size--possibly large tonsils.

The combination of snoring, frequent awakenings, and bathroom trips leads me to suggest that you should get it checked out. Make sure it is with a doctor who knows well what sleep apnea is, as not all doctors or pediatricians do. Some might just want to prescribe her allergy medication....


(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

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