Is your child restless in bed and tired during the daytime? When you go into their bedroom, do you see the sheets twisted up and the covers undone? Maybe they come into your room to complain of not being able to fall asleep or go back to sleep. They may say their legs are itchy or tickly. If so, it could be that your child is one of the approximate 2%-4% of children who may have Restless Leg Syndrome, according to The National Sleep Foundation.
Do you think you have obstructive sleep apnea? Perhaps you’ve taken a sleep apnea quiz online and realize you have several of the symptoms or indicators, like snoring, morning headaches, or excessive daytime sleepiness.
Maybe your physician has noted your likelihood for apnea based on factors like your BMI, neck circumference, cardiovascular health, or family history. It’s even possible your doctor or sleep medicine dentist has asked you to pre-screen for apnea using the STOP BANG questionnaire—a diagnostic tool that helps physicians screen patients for the probability of moderate to severe sleep apnea.
If you think you have sleep apnea, you may be correct. After all, about 22 million Americans are living with this health condition, according to current figures, and an estimated 80% of these cases are thought to be undiagnosed. You could be one of those undiagnosed cases.
Did you know that if a pregnant woman has untreated sleep apnea, the risk of her delivering her baby prematurely increases?
A 2017 study conducted at the University of California San Francisco showed that women diagnosed with insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) had nearly double the risk of early premature delivery—that is, birth before 34 weeks—as compared to women without sleep disorders. A 2016 Thai study published in the journal Sleep Breath showed similar increased risk of preterm birth.
Early preterm births come with their own sets of health risks for mother and child. But what many people don’t realize is that “preemie” infants also have a higher likelihood of developing sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing as children and adults.