06 Jan

7 Signs of Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Children

7 Signs of Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Children: What Parents Should Know


Sleep is a crucial component of a child’s overall well-being and development. When it comes to children, quality sleep is essential for growth, cognitive function, and emotional stability. However, sleep-disordered breathing can disrupt a child’s rest and potentially lead to various health issues. As a parent, being aware of the signs of sleep-disordered breathing is vital to ensure your child receives the proper care and attention they need. In this article, we will explore seven signs of sleep-disordered breathing that every parent should be mindful of.

1. Loud Snoring:

While occasional snoring is common in children, persistent loud snoring can be a sign of sleep-disordered breathing. Snoring occurs when airflow is partially blocked during sleep. If your child’s snoring is loud and occurs regularly, it may indicate an issue with their airway.

2. Breathing Pauses:

Observing breathing pauses during your child’s sleep is a significant red flag. If your child seems to stop breathing for a few seconds or takes shallow breaths during the night, it may suggest a form of sleep apnea. These pauses can disrupt your child’s sleep cycle and affect their overall sleep quality.

3. Restless Sleep:

Children with sleep-disordered breathing often experience restless sleep. If you notice your child tossing and turning, frequently changing positions, or experiencing night sweats, it might indicate their body is struggling to maintain an open airway during sleep.

4. Mouth Breathing:

Pay attention to your child’s breathing pattern during sleep. If your child predominantly breathes through their mouth instead of their nose during sleep, it could indicate an airway obstruction or nasal congestion, potentially related to sleep-disordered breathing.

5. Frequent Daytime Fatigue:

Children with sleep-disordered breathing may experience daytime fatigue and sleepiness. If your child appears excessively tired during the day, has difficulty concentrating, or seems irritable, it could be due to disrupted sleep at night caused by breathing issues.

6. Behavioral Problems:

Sleep-disordered breathing can manifest in behavioral changes. Children may experience mood swings, attention deficits, and even hyperactivity. If you notice a sudden change in your child’s behavior or academic performance, consider evaluating their sleep patterns.

7. Enuresis (Bedwetting):

Bedwetting, especially in older children who have already been toilet trained, can be a sign of sleep-disordered breathing. The interrupted sleep cycles can affect the brain’s ability to control the bladder during the night.


Recognizing the signs of sleep-disordered breathing in children is crucial for their overall well-being. If you observe any of these signs in your child, consider consulting a pediatrician or a sleep specialist. Early detection and appropriate management of sleep-disordered breathing can significantly improve your child’s quality of sleep and long-term health. Prioritize your child’s sleep and ensure they receive the necessary care and attention for a healthy and restful night’s sleep.


If you have concerns about your child’s quality of sleep, complete a Paediatric Sleep Questionnaire here, to see if further investigation can help your child.





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