Researchers in England assessed more than 11,000 children, beginning at 6 months old.
At the end of the six-year study, researchers noticed that children who experienced open mouth breathing, snoring and abnormally long pauses in breathing during sleep were almost twice as likely to have behavioral issues at age 7.
Doctors speculate that by interfering with the quality of rest, sleep-disordered breathing leaves children overtired. That may contribute to behavioral issues, such as being easily distracted, hyperactive and irritable.
The study is published online in the journal Pediatrics.