Sleep and Alzheimer's disease

Sleep Med Rev. 2015 Feb;19:29-38. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2014.03.007. Epub 2014 Apr 3.


Sleep disorders are frequent in Alzheimer's disease (AD), with a significant impact on patients and caregivers and a major risk factor for early institutionalization. Micro-architectural sleep alterations, nocturnal sleep fragmentation, decrease in nocturnal sleep duration, diurnal napping and even inversion of the sleep-wake cycle are the main disorders observed in patients with AD. Experimental and epidemiological evidence for a close reciprocal interaction between cognitive decline and sleep alterations is growing. Management of sleep disorders in AD is pre-eminently behavioral. Association of melatonin and bright light treatment seems to be promising as well. The presence of sleep complaints, especially excessive somnolence in demented patients, should draw attention to possible associated sleep pathologies such as sleep apnea syndrome or restless legs syndrome.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Memory; Sleep disturbance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Sleep Stages
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy