Alex Dimitriu, MD

Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine

ONE in FIVE Americans report that they get less than 6 hours of sleep per night

Sleep is an essential part of our lives, unfortunately, we increasingly live in a 24/7 society


  • We spend nearly one third of our lives sleeping - 25 years or more.
  • With the invention of the light bulb, human sleep times have decreased from 9 to 7.5 hours per night.  
  • Humans can survive longer without food than without sleep - the record is held by Randy Gardner - 264 hours or 11 days.  
  • Heart disease, diabetes, and obesity have all been linked to sleep loss 
  • Each year, sleep-related errors and accidents cost U.S. businesses an estimated $56 billion, cause nearly 25,000 deaths, and result in 2.5 million disabling injuries. 
  • In the 2005 Sleep in America survey. Over one-quarter of working adults - 28% -- said they had missed work, events and activities, or made errors at work because of sleep-related issues in the previous three months.
 The effects of sleep deprivation. Note specific effects on cognitive ability, mood symptoms, immune function, and obesity and diabetes.

The effects of sleep deprivation. Note specific effects on cognitive ability, mood symptoms, immune function, and obesity and diabetes.

Specialization in sleep medicine allows Dr. Dimitriu to diagnose and treat a variety of sleep related conditions - with a specific focus on daytime as well as night time symptoms. His training allows him to combine an understanding of sleep with daytime function - to also improve mood, anxiety, memory and recall. Optimizing sleep can also help improve pain and help with weight loss. Dr. Dimitriu has a holistic, patient-centered approach - medications are used effectively and conservatively, and lifestyle and behavioral techniques are employed to empower the patient to continue to make progress on their own. 


  • Insomnia - The most common sleep disorder, characterized by trouble falling and staying asleep. Many patients with insomnia also experience "hyperarousal" or the feeling of being constantly alert, 24 hours per day. People with insomnia report trouble sleeping at night, with fatigue, low energy, low mood and trouble concentrating during the day. Despite their fatigue, naps are impossible. People with insomnia also spend more time thinking about sleep than any other group - and this may be a part of the problem.
  • Sleep Apnea - Episodes of upper airway restriction during sleep, often observed as loud snoring, periods of not breathing, and daytime sleepiness. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has been recognized as an independent risk factor for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and abnormal glucose metabolism (diabetes).
  • Jet lag  and shift work - Adjusting to changing time zones and work hour requirements 
  • Delayed or Advanced sleep phase - Staying up too late, or going to bed too early 
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder - Often experienced as decreased mood and energy in the darker months
  • ADHD / Attention, Focus, and Memory - Sleep deprivation has significant effects on our ability to retain, process and recall information. This is severe enough, that in some cases, people worry they are experiencing the first signs of dementia.
  • RLS - Restless Legs Syndrome - an irresistible urge to move the feet, often occurring in the late hours
  • REM behavior disorder - Acting out dream material during the night 
  • Parasomnias - Sleep walking, sleep talking, bedwetting 
  • Narcolepsy - A very rare condition with the intrusion of sleep attacks during the day, and fragmented sleep at night 
  • Hypersomnia - Excessive daytime sleepiness; causes may be variable
  • Use of medications, drugs and alcohol - Nearly every psychiatric medication has effects on sleep, and some over the counter medications; especially caffeine, and alcohol do as well. We work together to optimize the timing and use and quantity of all substances, with attention to sleep, and daytime function. 


CONDITIONS TREATED: anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder, insomnia, bipolar disorder, and treatment resistant depression.

REGIONS COVERED:  We serve clients of the Bay Area, including the communities of Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Mountain View, Portola Valley, Atherton, Sunnyvale, and San Jose