ENT Specialists Australia share some important information with parents about their child’s sleeping habits and what it could mean.

Sharing the information six months ago the ENT group advised Parents what was NOT normal and should not be ignored when it comes to your child and sleep.

“We know that children do not come with an instruction book. We know that you can’t know everything. So we’ve put this list together.”

These things can actually be signs of a problem. Please don’t ignore the warning signs listed here.

It’s estimated that right now there are 500,000 children in Australia that should be seeing an ENT specialist for getting their breathing problems sorted.

They recommend that parents insist on seeing a specialist that actually knows what all these problems potentially mean. You may need to see more than one specialist to sort these problems out but one of those specialists often will be a paediatric ENT that deals with upper airway obstruction in kids.

Here is the list:
1. Snoring
2. Mouth breathing
3. Stopping breathing when asleep
4. Teeth grinding when asleep
5. Sleep talking
6. Sleep walking
7. Night terrors
8. Bed wetting beyond about 8 years of age, maybe even 5
9. Waking up tired
10. Tired during the day
11. Emotional sensitivity- for example cries at drop of a hat, moody, grumpy, anger management issues
12. Educational problems
13. Behavioural issues
14. Sleeping with the head arched back
15. Restless sleep, tossing and turning
16. The bed is all messed up
17. Sweating at night
18. Chewing on food and spitting certain ones out consistently- especially meat
19. Repeated ear infections
20. Drools on the pillow
21. Wakes up with a headache
22. Gasping or waking with a startle
23. Fidgety during the day, can’t sit still
24. Has symptoms suggestive of ADHD
25. Has to be propped up on a few pillows to sleep
26. Wakes with a dry mouth and/or dry lips
27. Lower jaw sits backwards relative to the upper jaw when viewed from the side
28. A narrow upper jaw, with the roof of the mouth sometimes forming a high arch at the same time
29. When the mouth is wide open, the tongue can not touch the roof of the mouth
30. Has chewing and/or swallowing problems
31. A regular or persistent blocked nose
32. Coughing at night
33. Regular throat clearing
34. Frequent blood noses specifically when asleep.

In getting advice, do not accept the following answers without getting a second opinion because the following answers are often given but are often not substantiated but the research:

1. They will out grow it
2. It’s normal, lots of kids do this
3. It’s just how he/she is
4. It’s only a quite snore so don’t worry about it
5. They just take after their dad/mum
6. If you can hear them breathing that’s ok, it means they are alive
7. Some kids just take a longer time than others to stop wetting the bed
8. It’s just a normal phase they are going through

It is very important to use this list to re-evaluate what you believe and change your perspective completely if you yourself fall into the second list of the way you thought about things in the first list.

And it’s important you attend to things quickly. The research shows that it only takes 6 months of sleep problems to lead to permanent damage. Damage to the brain, damage to the heart. Damage throughout the body. So please act now.

This story is certainly worth a read if you are concerned about your child – An eight-year-old boy was misdiagnosed with ADHD when he actually had sleep apnea, his mother is warning others about how the symptoms can resemble each other. Read more here.

Share your comments below

  • This list is so helpful for new parents, its hard learning everything about newborns


  • Oh dear my youngest has many. I will look into it now, I just thought everyone was different.


  • My kids had a couple of these, not heaps though, and pretty much what they did have they grew out of


  • Wow my daughter has so many of these we are currently seeing an ENT but I don’t feel comfortable with him


  • So pleased that this list has come out – it will help so many parents to help their children.


  • My granddaughter has many of these symptoms. ADHD has just been suggested but after reading this article I will pass it on to my daughter.


  • My son had horrendous night terrors they were bloody awful


  • Apart from lack of sleep (for myself!) the only other sleep problem I had with my kids that was entertaining then worrying was my daughter sleep walking. Gosh she came out with some funny lines and actions!


  • Far out – I’m alarmed. Counted quite a few there. Just contacted an ENT


  • Oh gosh, my oldest daughter has a few of those symptoms and my other kids have one of them. I just put it down to genetics (I grind my teeth and my hubby drools which is what my oldest daughter does)


  • Thanks for this compiled list, certainly things to look out for


  • Interesting list. My son may have ticked off some of those on occasion, but no ongoing issues with sleeping.


  • I think that just about covers every child in the world


  • Thanks for the article – wish all ENT specialists were as good as the one you detail.


  • That’s a very long list … not convinced that all of these things are cause for concern …?


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