Eating and drinking too much sugar plays a huge part in causing sleep disorders for children as young as 3. Children are consuming high levels of sugar today because it’s readily available in almost everything it seems. Dr Karina Patel, a consultant in dental sleep medicine at London Sleep Centre in Dubai, says “If there is sugar in their diet in any form, this will cause inflammation and the first point of inflammation is in the nose. This makes breathing very difficult.” This will prevent oxygen from getting to the lungs, resulting in shallow breathing or breathing pauses. Reduced oxygen flow to the brain disrupts restorative sleep, which is critical for every child’s brain development.
This disruption creates problems in areas of the brain that control children’s behavior, emotions and ability to be attentive, often resulting in increased hyperactivity. Warning signs for parents include snoring, sleeping with mouth open, saliva on the pillow, dark circles around the eyes. Children will also be irritable, emotional and act out often. This is a vicious cycle that begins with too much sugar.