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No More Counting Sheep! (part 1)

Sleep Disorders


Does your child have ADD/ADHD or do they have Sleep Apnea?

The two most common sleep disorders are sleep apnea and insomnia. My article this month will give you some basic information sleep disorders in the event you may have a problem yourself or know someone who does.

There are two main types of sleep apnea, central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea generally involved with other conditions and it has to do with the brainstem not sending the signal to breathe.

Obstructive sleep apnea has to do with something obstructing the airway… Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax. These muscles support the soft palate, the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula), the tonsils, the side walls of the throat and the tongue.

In adults, the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is excess weight and obesity, which is associated with soft tissue of the mouth and throat. During sleep, when throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed, this soft tissue can cause the airway to become blocked. Sleeping on the back can also increase the obstruction by flattening the airway even more therefore sleeping on the side not only helps stop snoring but also helps open the airway allowing more airflow. Other factors are also associated with the condition in adults

In children, causes of obstructive sleep apnea often include enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Tests have shown that not enough sleep and the brain not getting enough oxygen can cause problems with focus and irritability. Listed below are a couple You Tube videos explaining in detail how this occurs. The first is specific to sleep apnea being the cause of this child’s ADHD problem and the second shows a 2 year old boy having difficulty breathing. Often times if your child experiences night terrors as well this will lead into ADD/ADHD issues because of lack of sleep as this video will explain. Studies have suggested as many as 25 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD may actually have symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and that much of their learning difficulty and behavior problems can be the consequence of chronic fragmented sleep affecting the “executive functions” of the brain. If your child has ADD, ADHD, night terrors or is known to snore while sleeping this is something worth looking into.

This following You Tube video has two important presentations.

The first one is informative information on “Does your child have ADD/ADHD or do they have sleep apnea”.

This You Tube video is about a child with sleep apnea and what it looks like. This child is clearly working way too hard to breath.

Insomnia is another common sleep disorder. Insomnia is described as inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of the following: trouble falling asleep (Initial Insomnia); trouble remaining asleep through the night (Middle Insomnia); waking up too early (Terminal Insomnia); or unrefreshing sleep. Insomnia may cause a reduced energy level, irritability, disorientation, poor concentration. Adults and children will be unable to carry out their normal daily responsibilities because they are too tired or because they have trouble concentrating due to lack of restful sleep.

Natural supplementation is a better alternative than prescription drugs for sleep assistance. Consulting a holistic professional to find out what is best for your condition is advised. Some helpful tips for a good night sleep include: Set a regular sleep schedule and go to beds at the same time every night, exercise, no caffeine eight hours before bedtime and no electronics an hour before bedtime. The bright lights of electronics trick the brain in thinking it is still day time. Also, electronics stimulate the brain and it is harder to calm the brain down before bed time.

Depending on the severity of the health problem you may want to seek a holistic approach and holistic health professional like myself. If all else fails – seek a sleep specialist. I recommend, Brian Licuanin PhD. He specializes in the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT involves three categories: Sleep hygiene, stimuli’s control and sleep restriction. Lastly, I recommend calling a diagnostic sleep center such as Coast Sleep Center in Laguna Beach.

Jody Danese D.C., Lac. Sleep Specialist: Brian Licuanan, PHD, MS

For further evaluation:

Coast Sleep Center

Dr. George K. Shahinian, M.D.

31852 Coast Hwy ste 201

Laguna Beach, Ca 949-521-6060

By drjody | January 9th, 2021

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