Sleep and Aging: Insomnia in the Geriatric Population

  • Clifford Singer
  • Francine Nanda
Part of the Current Clinical Neurology book series (CCNEU)


Sleep complaints are common among older adults. About 20% of older adults who responded to the 2003 National Sleep Foundation poll admitted taking a sleep pill prescribed by a doctor or use over-the-counter sleep pills or drink alcohol, wine, or beer to promote sleep with 15% admitting using these aids every or almost every night. Overall, those who report a good health have a better quality of sleep than those who estimate having a fair or poor health. Sleep patterns are affected by age-related changes in circadian rhythms, medications, pain and medical conditions, neurodegenerative diseases, excessive daytime sleep, and specific sleep pathologies. Inadequate quality and quantity of sleep impact daytime alertness, physical, mood, and cognitive function. Neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., depression and dementia), digestive system diseases (e.g., esophageal reflux), pain, heart disease, and chronic pulmonary problems increase risk of insomnia. Insomnia itself may increase risk of chronic disease.


Elderly Insomnia Depression Dementia Pain Medications Neurodegenerative conditions Daytime alertness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clifford Singer
    • 1
  • Francine Nanda
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Vermont College of MedicineBurlingtonUSA

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