Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

Is it true that there is a relationship between sleep and Alzheimer’s disease?

A:

Yes. We are finding that conditions that shorten or fragment sleep can lead to an accumulation of the protein precursors of Alzheimer’s, such as amyloid and tau protein. This would include sleep apnea, insomnia, behaviorally induced insufficient sleep, and circadian sleep disorders.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

My 15-year-old son sleeps about 61/2 hours a night. He’s doing poorly in school and is always tired and grouchy. How much sleep should he be getting?

A:

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, eight to ten hours is required by teenagers. Your son’s symptoms are classic for sleep deprivation. Recent studies show 70% of teenagers are getting less than that. I would start by educating your son and removing electronic devices from the bedroom. That can make a huge difference

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

My husband has PTSD and he snores and stops breathing. I am trying to convince him that it would be a good idea to get checked out for sleep apnea. Is there anything you could add?

A:

Yes, sleep apnea is very common in PTSD. The benefits of treatment include decreased nightmares, better quality sleep, and improved daytime symptoms. Sleep apnea disrupts sleep and it is during sleep, especially REM sleep that most of the emotional processing of prior emotional trauma is reconciled.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea about a year ago. I haven’t noticed any improvement in my fatigue or sleepiness. My husband says it is because I turn it off after about four hours and go back to sleep for another three. What do you think?

A:

Although most insurers, like Medicare, require a minimum of four hours for them to pay for it, that is not sufficient. Most studies have shown significant improvement in sleepiness and fatigue with a minimum of six hours of use.

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. 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.

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1 thought on “Ask the Sleep Doctor – Topics: Alzheimers, School Performance, PTSD and More

  1. julia kaplan Reply

    Have moderate sleep apnea, i wear a mouthgard prescribed by a dentist who superviises use of it, i check its use nightly, but i still snore, i grind my thhet though, could i add the use of a chin strap to stop snoring,? the device its 3 yrs old ill have a new replacement next year, also the dentist upgraded the level adjustment.

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