Ask the Sleep Doctor – Topics: How Common is Sleep Apnea, Alzheimers, Sore Throats, Bruises

Ask the Sleep Doctor – Topics: How Common is Sleep Apnea, Alzheimers, Sore Throats, Bruises

 

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

I’m frequently reading and hearing about sleep apnea. I’m wondering is this a fad or is it really that common?

Answer:

Great question. Recent epidemiological studies in this country are very impressive. It would appear that 9% of women and 24% of men between the ages of 30 and 60 have sleep apnea. After the age of 65, it is estimated that 40 to 60% of the population has sleep apnea.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

Is it true that poor sleep can contribute to developing Alzheimer’s disease?

Answer:

Yes based on several recent studies poor sleep as seen in insomnia, sleep apnea and insufficient sleep due to behavioral factors may increase the likelihood of developing AD. Recent studies have shown that is during sleep that the brain doubles the rate at which it clears Beta Amyloid one of the causes of AD. Poor sleep also causes a process called oxidative stress where ROS (reactive oxygen species) are formed in excessive amounts; they are very damaging to brain tissue

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

My husband never sleeps more than five or so hours. He frequently has colds and sore throats when no one else in the family does. I think his lack of sleep is a contributing factor. Am I wrong about this?

Answer:

No, actually you are correct. A recent first-of-its-kind study was published in the journal Sleep. In this study, the immune systems of identical twins were studied. The short sleeper twin, those that slept at least one hour less than their sibling did, showed definite signs of immunosuppression. The authors conclude that this may explain short sleeper’s increased tendency to colds and poor response to vaccinations.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

My eight-year-old sleepwalks three to four times a week. Recently he tripped and severely bruised himself. I don’t want to put him on medications. Are there any other alternatives?

Answer:

Yes, first make sure he is getting enough sleep. An eight-year-old should be getting 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep is a major cause of sleepwalking. There is also a technique called scheduled awakening where the parent awakens the child nightly and briefly 15 to 30 minutes before the usual sleepwalking time. After two to four weeks, many studies show effective and prolonged resolution of sleepwalking and night terrors.

Dr. Robert Rosenberg, D.O., FCCP, DABSM

Robert S. Rosenberg, DO, FCCP, is the medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center of Prescott Valley, Arizona and sleep medicine consultant for Mountain Heart Health Services in Flagstaff, Arizona. Dr. Rosenberg is board certified in sleep medicine, pulmonary medicine, and internal medicine. He is a contributing sleep expert blogger and his advice has appeared in Women’s Health, Prevention, Ladies’ Home Journal, Parenting, and O Magazine, among others. Dr Rosenberg is a weekly newspaper columnist addressing sleep Q&As. Dr. Rosenberg appears on TV and radio and lectures throughout the country on Sleep Medicine. His book Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day  is a best seller. Dr Rosenberg’s latest book is The Doctor’s Guide to Sleep Solutions for Stress & Anxiety. Visit Dr Rosenberg’s website WWW.AnswersForSleep.com which is a wealth of information on sleep topics.

Until the next ‘Ask the Sleep Doctor’, please leave a comment or question below.

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