As a parent of a young child, few things are as comforting as the sight of your baby fast asleep. Even better, if your child is snoring you’ll likely think he or she is sleeping soundly. While that may be true, snoring is indicative of improper breathing. So how exactly do snoring and mouth-breathing affect your baby’s sleep?
If your child is snoring it means that your baby is breathing through their mouth rather than your nose. This may not seem like a big deal, but it actually does affect the quality of their breathing.
Mouth-breathing is actually much better for your baby, for you, for anyone. One of the first things you learn in meditation and yoga classes is the importance of proper breathing techniques. These always involve breathing through the mouth rather than the nose.
There are a number of benefits of breathing through your nose. Each of them is incredibly important. For starters, breathing through your nose actually increases the amount of oxygen that you get to your lungs. Therefore, it expels more carbon dioxide, lowers your heart rate, increases lymphatic flow, and even reduces stress on your heart. On top of that, nose-breathing produces nitric oxide. This helps expand blood vessels, increases blood flow, and helps your sinuses filter out impurities from the air that you breathe.
Mouth-breathing, on the other hand, has real, negative consequences, especially in small children. This type of breathing in the long-term can affect their facial growth, impact their teeth, cause gum disease and throat infections, stunt their growth, and disrupt their sleep.
As a parent, helping your baby sleep through the night is likely a top priority. As you know, babies tend to wake up frequently throughout the night. Minimizing these sleep interruptions is even more difficult if they are breathing through their mouth.
Children, just like adults, sleep in cycles. The first stage is a very light sleep. As the cycle continues, sleep deepens and then it hits the dreaming stage known as REM sleep. Both during the light sleep stage and the REM stage, babies are easily woken up.
In babies, these cycles last about 45 minutes. This means that the opportunity for them to wake up during the night occurs frequently. Generally, each of these times is triggered by noises around them such as a barking dog or car passing by, even the sound of their own snoring could wake them.
Not only that but if their airway is obstructed, causing the snoring, that could wake them up, as well. There are endless benefits to nights of good, consolidated sleep. On the other hand, sleep deprivation is accompanied by a host of negative side effects. Plus, if your baby doesn’t sleep through the night, neither do you. It’s in both of your best interests to address snoring early on.
The most severely blocked airways can be caused by tonsils or adenoids, both of which can be fixed with minor surgeries. Most likely, your baby’s snoring doesn’t warrant surgery but there are things you can do to help them. Frequent snoring can be lessened with the help of nasal strips. These help to pull open the nasal passageways.
If your baby’s snoring is relatively new, they could be sick or congested. This snoring should clear up once they get better.
So while snoring may seem like a minor concern, it’s just one more thing standing in the way of your baby (and your own) good night’s sleep.
Do Snoring and Mouth-Breathing Affect the Quality of Your Baby’s Sleep?
Yes, they do! If you have any questions – or wish to schedule a consultation – reach out to Adele Thompson Sleep Consulting today. Let’s get started on a journey to more sleep at night and happier days. Here’s to pleasant dreams for your entire family!