Sleep disruptions promote increases of amyloid β (Aβ) and tau in the brain and increase Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk, but the precise mechanisms that give rise to sleep disturbances have yet to be defined. The thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) is essential for sleep maintenance and for the regulation of slow-wave sleep (SWS). We examined the TRN in transgenic mice that express mutant human amyloid precursor protein (APP) and found reduced neuronal activity, increased sleep fragmentation, and decreased SWS time as compared to nontransgenic littermates. Selective activation of the TRN using excitatory DREADDs restored sleep maintenance, increased time in SWS, and reduced amyloid plaque load in both hippocampus and cortex. Our findings suggest that the TRN may play a major role in symptoms associated with AD. Enhancing TRN activity might be a promising therapeutic strategy for AD.