The information and opinions on this blog come from parents, and the blog is not associated with Primary Children´s Medical Center or any other institution.


This site is specifically for parents of kids with clefts being treated at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, but I hope that there will be information that is helpful to all parents of kids with clefts. If you are just starting to learn about clefts, I would suggest starting with the "General Information" topic and going from there. To find information on a specific doctor or topic, click on one of the links on the right. You can also search the blog using the box below the topic list. If you have information or experiences to share, please leave comments or contact me to do a guest post at Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sleep Apnea

As parents of children with clefts, you may want to be on the lookout for signs of sleep apnea if your child has not already been diagnosed with the condition.

"Preschool children with cleft lip and/or palate have a risk of obstructive sleep apnea that is as much as five times that of children without cleft. Obstructive sleep apnea appears to be underrecognized in this group of children."

J.E. Maclean, K. Waters, D. Fitzsimons, P. Hayward, D. A. Fitzgerald (2009). Screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Preschool Children with Cleft Palate. The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal: March 2009, Vol. 46, No. 2, pp. 117-123.

Here are some of the night-time symptoms of children with sleep apnea:
Difficulty breathing while asleep
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Snoring
  • Restless sleep
  • Heavy sweating while asleep
  • Nightmares/night terrors
  • Bed wetting

Daytime behaviors may include:

  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Aggressive or hyperactive behavior
  • Learning disabilities
  • Morning headaches
  • Discipline problems
  • Failure to thrive

For kids with clefts, apnea may be resolved through surgery (such as a mandibular distraction for a child with Pierre Robin Sequence), or by using a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine for sleep.

Here are a couple more articles on childhood sleep apnea:

There are myriad articles if you are interested in finding more information online!

Would any of you like to share your experiences with sleep apnea in your children? If so, please email


  1. Nice to see that there is an organization out there that cares about the children most people often forget. smile train cleft lip cleft palate is one such organization.

  2. I am so glad to read this awareness is spreading! Thank you so much.