For children that snore most nights or every night, or experience very disrupted breathing during sleep, it is important to make sure that enlarged tonsils and adenoids are NOT the primary reason. Many children do not have an adenoid or tonsil problem, instead, they have a poor eating habit problem. Any nasal congestion during sleep will lead to snoring, which doctors don't talk about. Most will prescribe allergy medications for an indefinite amount of time when parents mention congestion or a stuffy nose.
Two common reasons for congestion in kids include:
Drinking and eating excessive amounts of dairy and sugar. If your child drinks milk at bedtime or within couple of hours of bedtime, or repeatedly drinks milk throughout the night when they wake, your child will continue to snore due to acid reflux. There is nothing wrong with their nose—it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.
- Dry air as a result of the air conditioning or heat and not enough humidity in the home and the bedrooms.
As a surgeon who has performed thousands of tonsil and adenoid surgeries, I can tell you there are rare but real risks. As a mother, I’d much rather make a few dietary changes to see if the snoring stops and to help my child sleep better rather than using medication or surgery.
Even more important, I have treated thousands of children who already had surgery to have their tonsils and adenoid removed, and they still snore and experience congestion! We were able to help these children stop snoring after making some dietary and dietary habit changes, like minimizing dairy and sugar and stoping routine bedtime snacks. These relatively simple changes resulted in significant improvements and better sleep! Everyone is happy and children who get great rest are simply ready to engage in their day at school and during all other activities.
SNORING, SLEEP ISSUES AND FATIGUE
Research indicates that when stomach contents come back up (as reflux or spit-up), it wakes the brain and that can wake up a sleeping baby.1 Further, there’s ample research showing a relationship between childhood obesity and late-night eating. The child is likely consuming many more calories than needed, and just like adults, children are more likely to gain excessive weight when eating late at night since the body is not as effective in digestion and is not burning off excess calories when sedentary during sleep.
Learn more about how dairy and sugar can impact your child's health here.