June 07, 2021
Sleep Apnea: The Ultimate Grade Killer
With the school year coming to a close, did your child perform in school as expected? Are grades slipping? If you notice that your child struggles to stay awake and focus at school, sleep apnea may be playing a role and restricting their academic achievements.
How does Sleep Apnea Affect Grades?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious disorder that can disrupt your sleep throughout the night, and leave you feeling tired, irritable, and unable to focus. Several studies have found correlations between OSA and an inability to remain in good academic standing.
When sleep apnea is left undiagnosed in middle and high school children, their academics may be negatively affected. One study showed that this may have negative implications for “adult outcomes, including high school graduation, college admission and completion, and adult mental illness and substance abuse.” The difficulty is that sometimes the child does not present with obvious symptoms, e.g. snoring. As Dr. James Block, a dentist in Fremont, California, states: “it’s hard to know if you have sleep apnea unless someone else points it out.” Therefore, adults often must identify and address unusual disturbances in their children’s sleep, as well as excessive tiredness despite children sleeping for long periods of time.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine published an abstract of a study analyzing the correlation between 163 overweight students aged 10-17, and poor academic standing. The study focused on overweight children because of the increased likelihood of OSA in this demographic, in comparison to children of average weight. Out of the 42 students that were determined to have moderate to severe OSA, none had an “A” average, and 30 percent had an average of “C” or lower.
A similar study in New Zealand reported a correlation between sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in children aged 6-10 and poor progress for reading, writing, and math. One of the most prevalent SDB disorders is OSA. This study, therefore, further emphasizes the importance of addressing OSA at a young age. Additionally, once a child’s sleep disorders have been treated, their focus has been shown to increase significantly.
If your children struggle with poor academic standing at the collegiate level, OSA may also be to blame. Jordan University of Science and Technology conducted a study which found a correlation between poor academic standing and self-reported snoring as a high risk for OSA. In addition, another study found that students at risk for OSA were “overrepresented” within students of a low GPA. As these studies show, OSA is a relevant concern for students of any age, and OSA can have a significant negative impact on academic standing and performance.
What can you do?
Download the Ognomy app on your smartphone! Ognomy can help diagnose and treat OSA and potentially positively impact grades and productivity. Ognomy’s highly-qualified and experienced team can help you or your children achieve adequate rest all from the comfort of home, and without the need for overnight studies in a sleep center.
For more information, contact us or install Ognomy today to book your first virtual consultation.