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Sleep plays a vital role as adolescents develop and go through the maturation process. Sleep is food for the brain, enhancing memory, alertness and learning abilities. Quality sleep is associated with good health and may prevent some illness. Teens need 8 ½ –9 ½ hours of sleep, but 85% get less than the minimum requirement. Teens tend to have poor sleep habits and irregular sleep patterns.
Sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea can cause or exacerbate many behavioral disorders, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorder, depression, and many other problems. Common complaints and symptoms of adolescents with sleep apnea include excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring/raspy breathing, observed/suspected apneas and disruptive behaviors. Identifying and treating this disorder can improve the quality of life for the adolescent and the family.