London - Children who snore loudly at least twice a week are more likely to misbehave, it is claimed.

The risk of hyperactivity and inattention increases in young children who are persistent and loud snorers at an early age, warns a leading US doctor.

Breathing difficulties and poor sleeping patterns that underlie snoring may explain the link, said Dean Beebe, a neuropsychologist from Cincinnati.

He led the first study to examine the relationship between the persistence of snoring and behaviour in pre-school children. Persistent, loud snoring occurs in about one in ten children.

In the study published online in the medical journal Pediatrics, the mothers of 249 young children were questioned about their sleep and behaviour.

The study found children who snored loudly at least twice a week at the age of two and three had most behaviour problems, including hyperactivity, inattention and depression.

Dr Beebe said that breastfeeding, especially over longer periods, seemed to protect children against persistent snoring, even after taking into account other factors, including family income. - Daily Mail