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Ruth M. Benca, MD, PhD close
Ruth M. Benca, MD, PhD

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Ruth M. Benca, MD, PhD Print Friendly Page

Faculty, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Dr. Ruth Benca is a professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Active in several professional societies, she is a past president of the Sleep Research Society and the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. She is a frequent invited speaker in the area of sleep disorders, she is the author or coauthor of more than 100 journal articles, book chapters and abstracts, and she has reviewed manuscripts for Sleep, Science, the Journal of Neuroscience, and Biological Psychiatry. Dr. Benca is certified by the American Board of Sleep Disorders Medicine and sees patients in the UW Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center as well as the Depression Treatment Program.


Pediatric Sleep Medicine

Sleep Medicine

UW Health Clinics

Wisconsin Sleep Clinic
(608) 232-3333 | (877) 537-5337 | Map

Hospital Affiliation(s)

University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (primary)
Veterans Hospital - Wm. S. Middleton Memorial (secondary)

UW School of Medicine and Public Health

Department of Psychiatry

Professional Certifications and Education

Board Certification Psychiatry
Sleep Medicine
Fellowship University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL, Chicago, IL, Chicago, IL
Residency University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL, Chicago, IL, Chicago, IL
Internship University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL, Chicago, IL, Chicago, IL
Medical School University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, 1981


Madison Magazine Top Docs 2012

Medical interpreters are available to help patients communicate with hospital and clinic staff. For more information, please contact interpreter services at (608) 262-9000.


Our doctors provide a wide range of services. The following list represents some, but not all, of the procedures offered by this physician.

  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test
  • Polysomnography
  • Psychiatric Diagnostic Evaluations

Dr. Benca’s research has focused on several aspects of sleep behavior, including the acute effects of light- dark cycles on sleep and wakefulness and the relationship between sleep abnormalities and psychiatric disorders, in particular the effects of sleep on mood regulatory systems.

PubMed Articles
Sprecher KE Ferrarelli F Benca RM . Sleep and Plasticity in Schizophrenia. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2015 Jan 22;
[PubMed ID: 25608723]
Billings ME Rosen CL Auckley D Benca R Foldvary-Schaefer N Iber C Zee PC Redline S Kapur VK . Psychometric performance and responsiveness of the functional outcomes of sleep questionnaire and sleep apnea quality of life instrument in a randomized trial: the HomePAP study. Sleep. 2014 Dec 1;37(12):2017-24
[PubMed ID: 25325491]
Herring WJ Connor KM Ivgy-May N Snyder E Liu K Snavely DB Krystal AD Walsh JK Benca RM Rosenberg R Sangal RB Budd K Hutzelmann J Leibensperger H Froman S Lines C Roth T Michelson D . Suvorexant in Patients with Insomnia: Results from Two 3-Month Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials. Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Oct 23;
[PubMed ID: 25526970]
Siclari F Bernardi G Riedner BA LaRocque JJ Benca RM Tononi G . Two distinct synchronization processes in the transition to sleep: a high-density electroencephalographic study. Sleep. 2014 Oct 1;37(10):1621-37
[PubMed ID: 25197810]
Michelson D Snyder E Paradis E Chengan-Liu M Snavely DB Hutzelmann J Walsh JK Krystal AD Benca RM Cohn M Lines C Roth T Herring WJ . Safety and efficacy of suvorexant during 1-year treatment of insomnia with subsequent abrupt treatment discontinuation: a phase 3 randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet Neurol. 2014 May;13(5):461-71
[PubMed ID: 24680372]
Armstrong JM Ruttle PL Klein MH Essex MJ Benca RM . Associations of child insomnia, sleep movement, and their persistence with mental health symptoms in childhood and adolescence. Sleep. 2014 May 1;37(5):901-9
[PubMed ID: 24790268]
Jones SG Riedner BA Smith RF Ferrarelli F Tononi G Davidson RJ Benca RM . Regional reductions in sleep electroencephalography power in obstructive sleep apnea: a high-density EEG study. Sleep. 2014 Feb 1;37(2):399-407
[PubMed ID: 24497668]
Baldo BA Hanlon EC Obermeyer W Bremer Q Paletz E Benca RM . Upregulation of gene expression in reward-modulatory striatal opioid systems by sleep loss. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013 Dec;38(13):2578-87
[PubMed ID: 23864029]
Ferrarelli F Smith R Dentico D Riedner BA Zennig C Benca RM Lutz A Davidson RJ Tononi G . Experienced mindfulness meditators exhibit higher parietal-occipital EEG gamma activity during NREM sleep. PLoS One. 2013;8(8):e73417
[PubMed ID: 24015304]
Plante DT Landsness EC Peterson MJ Goldstein MR Riedner BA Wanger T Guokas JJ Tononi G Benca RM . Sex-related differences in sleep slow wave activity in major depressive disorder: a high-density EEG investigation. BMC Psychiatry. 2012 Sep 18;12:146
[PubMed ID: 22989072]
Plante DT Landsness EC Peterson MJ Goldstein MR Wanger T Guokas JJ Tononi G Benca RM . Altered slow wave activity in major depressive disorder with hypersomnia: a high density EEG pilot study. Psychiatry Res. 2012 Mar 31;201(3):240-4
[PubMed ID: 22512951]
Landsness EC Goldstein MR Peterson MJ Tononi G Benca RM . Antidepressant effects of selective slow wave sleep deprivation in major depression: a high-density EEG investigation. J Psychiatr Res. 2011 Aug;45(8):1019-26
[PubMed ID: 21397252]
Ferrarelli F Peterson MJ Sarasso S Riedner BA Murphy MJ Benca RM Bria P Kalin NH Tononi G . Thalamic dysfunction in schizophrenia suggested by whole-night deficits in slow and fast spindles. Am J Psychiatry. 2010 Nov;167(11):1339-48
[PubMed ID: 20843876]
Hanlon EC Benca RM Baldo BA Kelley AE . REM sleep deprivation produces a motivational deficit for food reward that is reversed by intra-accumbens amphetamine in rats. Brain Res Bull. 2010 Oct 30;83(5):245-54
[PubMed ID: 20619322]
Jones SG Paletz EM Obermeyer WH Hannan CT Benca RM . Seasonal influences on sleep and executive function in the migratory White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii). BMC Neurosci. 2010 Jul 29;11:87
[PubMed ID: 20670404]
Peacock J Benca RM . Narcolepsy: clinical features, co-morbidities & treatment. Indian J Med Res. 2010 Feb;131:338-49
[PubMed ID: 20308759]
Benca R Duncan MJ Frank E McClung C Nelson RJ Vicentic A . Biological rhythms, higher brain function, and behavior: Gaps, opportunities, and challenges. Brain Res Rev. 2009 Dec 11;62(1):57-70
[PubMed ID: 19766673]
Newman SM Paletz EM Obermeyer WH Benca RM . Sleep deprivation in pigeons and rats using motion detection. Sleep. 2009 Oct;32(10):1299-312
[PubMed ID: 19848359]
Landsness EC Crupi D Hulse BK Peterson MJ Huber R Ansari H Coen M Cirelli C Benca RM Ghilardi MF Tononi G . Sleep-dependent improvement in visuomotor learning: a causal role for slow waves. Sleep. 2009 Oct;32(10):1273-84
[PubMed ID: 19848357]
Benca RM Peterson MJ . Insomnia and depression. Sleep Med. 2008 Sep;9 Suppl 1:S3-9
[PubMed ID: 18929317]