There is a good deal of research that suggests that snoring and sleep-disordered breathing can lead to behavior problems and problems with school performance.
It has been found that children who are sleepy during the day as a result of snoring have shorter spans and problems controlling their behaviors.
These two issues can contribute to problems at home and at school. Some studies suggest that snoring that doesn’t seem significant or isn’t severe enough to be considered obstructive sleep apnea can cause problems, too. One study found that children with even “mild” snoring had problems with hyperactivity, attention, socializing and even had higher rates of anxiety and depression.
Studies that focus on snoring and school performance tend to agree that approximately 10% of children and teens are “habitual” snorers. A habitual snorer is someone who snores three or more times per week. Studies have shown that students who are considered habitual snorers perform worse in school than their non-snoring counterparts.
The good news is that if the snoring is corrected, the behavior problems and school problems can improve. Studies suggest that those who have been snoring because of enlarged tonsils or adenoids can get some relief with surgery.
It’s hard to say if just being sleepy is enough to wreck your teen’s school performance, or if it is the presence of significant snoring that makes the difference. One of the first things you can do is help your teen to get enough sleep. If your teen snores frequently, it is important to talk to your pediatrician about further evaluation and testing.