Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 199–205 | Cite as

Subjective evaluation of sleep and the use of hypnotics in nursing homes

  • M. Seppälä
  • T. Rajala
  • L. Sourander
Original Article


The purpose of the study was to evaluate the sleep habits and the use of hypnotics in the elderly living in nursing homes. The study population consisted of 60 subjects aged 61–99 years who were interviewed by a geriatrician. The use of hypnotics was frequent (53%), but not associated with gender, memory impairment, moving disability, depression, quality of sleep or sleep behaviour. Users of hypnotics had shorter total sleep time (TST) and got up earlier from bed in the morning than the non- users. Most of the subjects perceived their sleep as interrupted but satisfactory. The elderly with impaired memory slept longer, stayed in bed longer, and took their hypnotics significantly earlier than those with normal memory. As we found no explaining factors for the use of hypnotics, we suggest regular evaluation of their administration in nursing homes. The subjective need for hypnotics, not the nursing home practices, should decide the necessity of these drugs and the medication times in nursing home residents. (Aging Clin. Exp. Res. 5: 199- 205, 1993)


Hypnotics nursing homes sleep behaviour 


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Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis s.r.l. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Seppälä
    • 1
  • T. Rajala
    • 1
  • L. Sourander
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geriatric MedicineUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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