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  • Writer's pictureCAFF Team


Updated: May 10

Episode 64 of the Airway First podcast is now out! You can catch this and all other episodes on Apple, SoundCloud, Podbean, RSS, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. And don't forget to check us out on YouTube!

Airway First podcast, Sharon Moore

My guest today is the one Sharon Moore is a speech pathologist and myofunctional practitioner with thirty-eight years of clinical experience across a range of communication and swallowing disorders. She has worked in diverse clinical settings in Australia and London.


Currently, Sharon runs a private practice in Canberra for patients of all ages and is part of the transdisciplinary team for the Canberra Sleep Clinic. The integration of orofacial myofunctional principles into traditional speech pathology work allows a unique approach to managing disorders of the upper airway, including breathing, swallowing, chewing, phonation, resonance, speech and sleep issues related to upper airway obstruction.


Sharon has a special interest in early identification of craniofacial growth anomalies in syndromic and non-syndromic children, concomitant orofacial dysfunctions and airway obstruction in sleep disorders.


Sharon believes that there has never been a more important time for medical, dental and allied health colleagues to work as a team, with the significant consequences of sleep disorders in all ages now widely known. Growing global medical acknowledgement of the role of myofunctional therapy in the management of sleep disorders has hailed a new era of relevance for work in the upper airway, affirming Sharon’s chosen clinical direction.


She believes we have a window of opportunity to help parents get it right before kids start school.

You can find out more about Sharon at and

If we worry about kid’s health during the daytime, it’s high time we start worrying about their health at nighttime. Afterall, that’s half their lifetime. ~ Sharon Moore

Show Notes:


Each one of us operates on a circadian rhythm (a 24-hour cycle that communicates to our bodies when to sleep and when to wake). While all kids are different, there is a standard guideline for how much sleep a child needs.

This sleep guideline is based on your child's age:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours of sleep per day

  • Infants (4-12 months): 12-16 hours of sleep per day

  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours of sleep per day

  • Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours of sleep per day

  • School Agers (6-12 years): 9-12 hours of sleep per day

  • Teens (13-18 years): 8-10 hours of sleep per day


As discussed in the podcast, the foundation of the Empowered Sleep Apnea method is to understand the "WHY" of sleep apnea and why it should be treated. The reasons focus on how sleep apnea affects your child's life and are part of the process of taking charge of your child's sleep health journey.

Once the five reasons to treat are clear, the goals for therapy will become obvious. For example, if risk becomes a reason to treat, then the goal of therapy might be to lower the marker for that risk, which in most cases is the AHI (lower than the standard of 5). For children, lowering the event rate as much as possible should always be the goal.


The five reasons to treat are:

  1. Risk - Sleep apnea increases the risk of dying younger of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and accidents, but the risk for a given case of sleep apnea is highly variable per person which is why this is one of the elements that is most important to discuss carefully

  2. Snoring - The burden of snoring creates social difficulties and may cause direct trauma to tissues in the nasal passages and back of the throat

  3. Sleep - Sleep apnea creates intermittent "fight or flight" stimulation, impacting the sleeper's ability to obtain restful and restorative sleep

  4. Wake - When the sleep experience is broken, it can create real problems during the daytime including an inability to focus (ADHD) and drowsiness

  5. Comorbidities - Numerous health problems, such as diabetes, migraine headaches, depression, anxiety, and bruxism, worsen under the nonspecific stress of poor sleep


Accomplished, by Karese Laguerre

Kids often suffer unknowingly from the consequences of sleep problems because their issue is frequently missed or dismissed, by both health professionals and parents.

Sleep disorders are a major public health issue that can kick start a lifetime pattern of health, behavior, and learning problems. From ages 4-10, at least 25 percent of kids have sleep problems. Sleep Wrecked Kids guides parents towards good sleep as the norm, allowing themselves and their children to grow and thrive.

Speech pathologist and myofunctional practitioner Sharon Moore teaches parents why ‘bad sleep’ is connected to a myriad of health problems, what ‘good sleep’ actually means, how to identify red flags for sleep problems, how to improve sleep quality by improving airway health, and so much more! Parents are empowered to not only get more sleep themselves, but also to help their children get the sleep they need―every night.

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