A large study published in Nature Communications found a link between snoring and structural brain changes in children, as well as problem behaviors such as inattention, hyperactivity and aggression.
Researchers looked at data from MRI brain images of over 10,000 children aged 9 to 10 years in the United States. In addition, they collected data from those children’s parents on how often their kids snore and parent responses to standard behavior measures.
The researchers found a correlation between habitual snoring (three or more nights per week) and thinner gray matter in several areas of the brain, particularly in regions within the frontal lobe which help manage attention, reasoning and impulse control.
This adds to the body of knowledge that snoring is a key component of obstructive sleep disordered breathing, and a predictor of associated behavioral issues in children.