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Reviewed by: Jodi E. Gustave, MD

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing during sleep. It usually happens because something obstructs, or blocks, the upper airway. This is called obstructive sleep apnea (AP-nee-uh).

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can make the body''t reach a deeper, more restful level of sleep.

Signs of obstructive sleep the 1 last update 2020/05/26 apnea in kids include:Signs of obstructive sleep apnea in kids include:

  • snoring, often with pauses, snorts, or gasps
  • heavy breathing while sleeping
  • very restless sleep and sleeping in unusual positions
  • bedwetting (especially if a child had stayed dry at night)
  • daytime sleepiness or behavior problems
  • sleepwalking or night terrors

Because it''s sleep, kids might:

  • have a hard time waking up in the morning
  • be tired or fall asleep during the day
  • have trouble paying attention or be hyperactive

As a result, obstructive sleep apnea can hurt school performance. Teachers and others may think a child has ADHD or learning problems.

How Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

Talk to your doctor if your child:

  • snores regularly
  • is a restless sleeper
  • falls asleep during the day
  • has other signs of sleep apnea

Your doctor might refer for 1 last update 2020/05/26 you to a sleep specialist or recommend a sleep study.Your doctor might refer you to a sleep specialist or recommend a sleep study.

A sleep study (also called a polysomnogram) can help doctors diagnose sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Sleep studies are painless and risk-free, but kids usually need to spend the night in a hospital or sleep center.

baby sleep 👍how to baby sleep for During a sleep study, doctors check:

  • eye movements
  • heart rate
  • breathing patterns
  • brain waves
  • blood oxygen levels
  • carbon dioxide levels
  • snoring and other noises
  • body movements and sleep positions

baby sleep ☑how to baby sleep for How Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treated?

When obstructive sleep apnea is mild, doctors might check a child''s connected to a machine that pumps air to open the airways.

baby sleep 🔴how to baby sleep for When excess weight causes obstructive sleep apnea, it's important to work with a doctor on diet changes, exercise, and other safe weight-loss methods.

Reviewed by: Jodi E. Gustave, MD
Date reviewed: October 2018