A snoring toddler? She may be depressed

April 6, 2009

Young children who snore, a new study finds, are more likely for mood and anxiety disorders than their peers who snooze quietly at naptime.

Young children who snore, a new study finds, are more likely for mood and anxiety disorders than their peers who snooze quietly at naptime.

A new study in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics studied pre-school aged children for sleep-disordered breathing. Half of the children snored, half didn't. They were all assessed by the parents with the Child Behavior Checklist, and by the researchers with the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, Revised, among other tests.

Lead researcher Eeva T. Aronen, MD's results showed more sleep-related problems in the snoring group, which was to be expected. Not as expected was a lesser score on auditory attention and language skills, or parental reports of higher anxious/depressed mood scores.

Sleep disorders have been linked to negative mental health and cognitive problems, but only for adults and older children. This is the first study that shows a throughline to very young kids as well.