Snoring Linked to Alzheimer's Disease | Sleep Clinic Services

You are here

Snoring Linked to Alzheimer's Disease


Sleep fragmentation or broken and disrupted sleep, as occurs in people suffering from sleep disordered breathing conditions (such as sleep apnoea,) has been clearly linked to an increased likelihood of Alzheimer's disease. video source: Channel 7 News

The findings are the result of a study done by the Rush Memory and Aging Project which presented the results of the study at the recent American Neurological Association Annual Meeting in Boston.

The lead researcher said the findings are consistent with studies that showed long-term disruption in sleep tends to lead to the more rapid development of Alzheimer's pathology.

Dr Andrew Lim, a neurologist from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada, studied 734 elderly adults (mean age, 81.6) over 10 days.

During a follow-up 3 years later, 96 people had developed Alzheimer's disease. This correlated with the research, which found that being above the usual level of sleep disturbance was associated with a 21% to 26% increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

"One possible explanation is that individuals who are sleep-fragmented at baseline already have something wrong with them. (Sleep fragmentation) may be a marker of underlying pathology" said Dr Lim.

"But of course the more exciting possibility, and the possibility that's raised is that sleep fragmentation or sleep disruption itself is harmful in terms of the underlying pathological processes of Alzheimer's disease, or the converse, that getting a good night's sleep may in fact be protective," he said.

This is extremely significant news for people suffering from sleep disordered breathing conditions, such as sleep apnoea. The repeated arousals which are associated with sleep apnoea are obvious causes of sleep fragmentation and, as Dr Lim suggests, getting treatment for the sleep disorder could be protective. Dr Kristine Yaffe, a psychiatrist and director of the University of California, San Francisco Dementia Epidemiology Research Group, said basic science has suggested extended loss of sleep may lead to greater build-up of amyloid beta.

"We've had an accumulating body of evidence both from basic science and clinical studies like this that are showing us that there clearly is a connection between the sleep quality and prospective risk of developing dementia," said Dr Yaffe, who wasn't involved in the new study. "There's lots of converging data."

"This raises the question for anybody who takes care of older individuals of asking about sleep, and identifying sleep problems and treating them, with the idea that potentially it may be a risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease," Dr Lim said.--

If you are snoring while sleeping and also experiencing other sleep disorders, and you’re not sure whether you need a sleep study, simply click this link Sleep Self Assessment Questionnaire to complete and submit your personal sleep assessment questionnaire.

Once submitted, one of our friendly Sleep Therapists will analyse your data, then contact you by phone to explain your results and answer any questions or concerns you may have. (We respect your privacy. Your information will not be shared). The resulting data will help to determine whether you do need to have a sleep study. This service is completely cost and obligation free.

IMPORTANT: Please understand, this is not a diagnostic sleep study, and does not replace the need to have one done, but it will identify whether you do need a sleep study. 

The negative consequences of SDB are serious and the effects of treatment are extraordinarily positive.  Call us today on 1300 246 637 for a free no-obligation chat with one of our friendly Sleep Therapists.  We're here to help!

Don't put it off any longer. Snoring and sleep apnoea should be treated, not tolerated. Contact us, now.

DISCLAIMER - Information provided in this article is general in content and should not be seen as a substitute for professional medical advice.


Assessing fitness to drive for commercial and private vehicle drivers: Download PDF
General driver licensing agency contacts: DLA Locations
Complete an online: Sleep Self Assessment Questionnaire
Download a Sleep Study Referral Form


Michael Hicks - "You literally saved my life!"
Elizabeth Hall - "I decided it was time to get serious about my health"
Len Kasulke - "Fantastic follow-up service with a smile" 


Quality vs Quantity - How Much Sleep Do I Need?
What is Snoring and Sleep Apnoea?
Home Sleep Studies Preferred by Patients
Do I Need a Sleep Study?