Sleepless nights

Sunday July 21, 2013

Reporter: Kerri-Anne Kennerley

Producer: Lisa Ryan

If your child snores, no matter how quietly, you may have a big problem on your hands. What most parents don't know is that while they are sleeping, their snoring children could be suffering long-term damage.

More than half of Australian children suffer from a sleeping disorder, and the effects can last a lifetime. Experts know that a lack of sleep leads to reduced IQ, developmental issues and can even stunt a child's growth.

In around 70 per cent of these children, surgical methods like removing tonsils or adenoids can fix the problem. But doctors recommend sleep studies – and follow-up studies – for children suffering sleep disorders, to properly diagnose the problems.

In Sunday Night's report, Kerri-Anne Kennerley meets nine-year-old Luke, a little boy with a big heart and a large problem. She also meets three-month-old baby Ethan, who is hooked up to monitors that record his every sleeping moment – his sleeping disorder sees him wake up around 60 times an hour.

Around Australia it's not only children - more and more adults are suffering snoring-related issues that can lead to bigger problems. Doctors are eager to educate a new generation on the importance of a good night’s sleep.


Paediatric sleep services directory

Sleep information - fact sheets

Dr Jim Papadopoulos's St George Private Hospital listing. Email him at