Child Sleep Disorders

Kids can show different signs and symptoms of sleep-related breathing disorders compared to adults.

The Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) threshold for adults to be diagnosed with sleep apnea – where the airway becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep – is five events per hour. For kids, as few as one event per hour is generally a concern and may warrant treatment. In addition, kids can show drastically different signs of sleep disturbances compared to adults.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Children

During the night, a child with sleep apnea may:

  • Snore loudly and on a regular basis
  • Have pauses, gasps, and snorts and actually stop breathing.
  • The snorts or gasps may waken them and disrupt their sleep.
  • Be restless or sleep in abnormal positions with their head in unusual positions
  • Sweat heavily during sleep

During the day, a child with sleep apnea may:

  • Have behavioral, school and social problems
  • Be difficult to wake up
  • Have headaches during the day, but especially in the morning
  • Be irritable, agitated, aggressive, and cranky
  • Be so sleepy during the day that they actually fall asleep or daydream


The BEARS questionnaire is a simple, effective screening tool for many sleep disorders. It can be accessed here. You are encouraged to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Charlie, who will assess your child to determine an accurate diagnosis. Please bring this completed assessment.

B = Bedtime Issues
E = Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
A = Night Awakenings
R = Regularity and Duration of Sleep
S = Snoring