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My Son Snores, Bed Wets, and Has Difficulty Sleeping

by Naz

My son who is 12 has always snored and still bed wets some nghts. About a year ago I noticed that his chest is dipping when he breaths in becuase he is sucking in for oxygen so strongly. But because I didnt know that this is a symptom of sleep apnea, i did nothing about it.

Since then he has had three episodes of choking with two of them resulting in him throwing up. This was very worrying for him and me. I have booked apiontment with gp for him but i am very worried about this condition

I would like to know that does this sound like sleep apnea and is it the mild form or not? And also i think that his behavour might be affected by this. I have believed since he was a toddler that he has the symptoms of adhd but the health visitor said that he seems fine. Any advice please, thank you.

Kevin: Hi Naz, The snoring, bedwetting, and increased effort to breathe are all characteristic of sleep apnea. The bedwetting occurs in children essentially because sleep apnea fragments sleep. This sleep fragmentation tricks your body into thinking it is not in the middle of a deep sleep, when it would generally produce less urine than in the day. Increased urine production leads to a higher likelihood of bedwetting
in a child's body that has less experience with coping with this pressure during sleep.

There is also definitely a link between sleep apnea and symptoms resembling ADHD. When a child is sleep deprived, they are tired and less able to focus, and this often manifests itself also in hyperactivity (you know that feeling you get when you're really tired during the day but can't sleep). The result is some doctors who don't know much about sleep disorders misdiagnosing a lot of children with ADHD when the real culprit is sleep quality. This is elucidated here by points from Sleep and Dream's own Dr. Rafael Pelayo.

It is hard to say what the severity of your son's apnea is just from reading your observations, but when you go to the doctor and have a sleep study ask about his Apnea/Hypopnea Index. This is the numbers of apneas (stopped breathing) and hypopneas (slowed breathing) he experiences on average per hour. This is used to gauge severity for sleep apnea.

All the best to you and your son. Have you had any luck with treatment since writing this? Feel free to post any updates to your story here in the comments section below.


(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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