A study in the August issue of Sleep Medicine found a potential link between sleep-disordered breathing and aggressive behavior and bullying in urban schoolchildren. The cross-sectional survey used validated screening assessments that were completed by parents, along with an additional rating that was provided by teachers.
Of the 341 subjects, 32 percent were rated by a parent or teacher as having a conduct problem. Twenty-three percent had symptoms suggestive of sleep-disordered breathing. Statistical analysis found that symptoms suggestive of sleep-disordered breathing were found more often in children with conduct problems, bullying, or discipline referrals. Children with conduct problems also were more likely to snore habitually than those without conduct problems.
However, conduct problems were predicted by a sleepiness subscale and not by a snoring subscale. The authors concluded that sleepiness may promote aggression by impairing emotional regulation.