Ask The Sleep Doctor – Down Syndrome and Sleep Apnea

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

I have an 11-year-old with Down syndrome. She snores and has trouble staying awake. I have told her doctors but they don’t seem to think there is a connection. I heard that sleep apnea is more common in Down syndrome. Is that true?


Yes, it is true. In fact, we estimate that up to 50 or 60% of children and adults with Down syndrome have sleep apnea. I have had numerous patients with Down syndrome who have responded very nicely to therapy. It can make a big difference concerning quality of life and cognitive decline. I would bring this to the attention of your child’s health care provider.


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 which is a wealth of information on sleep topics.

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2 Replies to “Ask The Sleep Doctor – Down Syndrome and Sleep Apnea”

  1. dawid

    am sleeping for long hours from childhood don’t know what is the cause now am losing weight so what might be the cause…

  2. Robert Rosenberg

    The need to sleep long hours since childhood could be due to any number of sleep disorders, as well as the fact that some of us are long sleepers. However, the associated weight loss is bothersome. Most primary sleep disorders are not associated with weight loss. I think you should make an appointment with your primary caregiver and are worked up for your weight loss. Although possible, I doubt the two are directly related.

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