Normal Sleep Study Results Don't Necessarily Equal Normal Breathing

If the sleep study comes back normal that doesn't mean your child's breathing is normal!


Only 1-2% of children with sleep disordered breathing experience oxygen desaturation and have sleep apnea. The problem for the majority of kids with SDB is about the compensations the body makes in an effort to keep breathing during sleep. If the body realizes it's not getting enough O2, it goes into "fight or flight" mode. This can look like teeth grinding, excessive movement, heavy breathing and multiple arousals throughout the night. So the child never actually gets good quality restorative sleep!


That's like getting woken up by your phone ringing every 15 minutes...and then being expected to concentrate in school all day and "behave"! Yikes. Let's do our part in spreading airway awareness and start screening children for airway!


Guilleminault C, Pelayo R, Leger D, Clerk A, Bocian RC. Recognition of sleep-disordered breathing in children. Pediatrics. 1996 Nov;98(5):871-82. PMID: 8909480.