Sleep Disorders in Adults with Down Syndrome

J Clin Med. 2021 Jul 6;10(14):3012. doi: 10.3390/jcm10143012.


Sleep disorders, despite being very frequent in adults with Down syndrome (DS), are often overlooked due to a lack of awareness by families and physicians and the absence of specific clinical sleep guidelines. Untreated sleep disorders have a negative impact on physical and mental health, behavior, and cognitive performance. Growing evidence suggests that sleep disruption may also accelerate the progression to symptomatic Alzheimer's disease (AD) in this population. It is therefore imperative to have a better understanding of the sleep disorders associated with DS in order to treat them, and in doing so, improve cognition and quality of life, and prevent related comorbidities. This paper reviews the current knowledge of the main sleep disorders in adults with DS, including evaluation and management. It highlights the existing gaps in knowledge and discusses future directions to achieve earlier diagnosis and better treatment of sleep disorders most frequently found in this population.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Down syndrome; aging; insomnia; obstructive sleep apnea; sleep disorders.

Publication types

  • Review