Ask The Sleep Doctor – Topics: Atrial Fibrillation, ADD, CPAP, and More

Sleep doctor ready to answer questions

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

My dad has been in and out of atrial fibrillation for several years. His cardiologist wants him to have a procedure called an ablation. He said this could potentially cure his fibrillation and allow him to get off blood thinners. My mom mentioned he snores and now they want him to have a sleep study. Why?


Up to 59% of patients with atrial fibrillation have sleep apnea. Untreated, it is a major cause of recurrent fibrillation and significantly decreases the chances of procedures such as ablation to work.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

My grandson is 11 years old. He does not fall asleep until 11p.m. and has to be up for school by 6:30. He is doing poorly in school. I tell my daughter he is not getting enough sleep but she wants him evaluated for ADD. What do you think?


I think grandma knows best. An 11-year-old needs a minimum of 9 to 10 hours of sleep. 7 1/2 is insufficient and may be the cause of problems with focusing and paying attention. I would first ensure he is getting enough sleep before anything else.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. I wear my CPAP faithfully. They tell me I have no more apneas when my machine is checked. Despite that, I am still having a very hard time staying awake. Any ideas?


Yes, about 8% of people with sleep apnea after treatment still have a hard time with sleepiness. There are several medications approved by the FDA for just such circumstances. I would speak to your health care provider or sleep doctor and see if you are a candidate.

Dear Dr. Rosenberg,

My 4-year-old has a hard time falling asleep. I am wondering if the movies on a laptop he watches before bed could be contributing?


Yes, they probably do. A recent study showed preschool children’s eyes are much more sensitive to light than at any age. In the study, the suppression of melatonin by light was greatest in this age group. Melatonin is the hormone we produce to induce sleep. The study found even brief exposures suppressed melatonin for up to 90 minutes.

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 which is a wealth of information on sleep topics.

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2 thoughts on “Ask The Sleep Doctor – Topics: Atrial Fibrillation, ADD, CPAP, and More

  1. vincent kieley Reply

    I have been on CPAP now biped.I have an extreme problem with my mouth drying out waking me up to drink water . This is becoming more severe as time goes by. I use a respironics dream ma`chine with humidifier on adaptive mode with a non heated tube. This is recommended to produce 95% humidity . It is inconceivable to me that at 95% humidity I am still severely drying out in the mouth. Do you have any suggestions on what I could do to alleviate this problem. With the number off cpap users in the general population this must be a problem for a certain percentage so what is the fix.

  2. Kit Vogt Reply

    I have had sleep apnea for years and have a machine I use each and every night. How often should you be re-tested to make sure you are on the right rack?

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