Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie

, Volume 38, Supplement 1, pp i21–i23 | Cite as

Schlaf und zirkadiane Rhythmik im Alter

  • M. Münch
  • C. Cajochen
  • A. Wirz-Justice
Article

Zusammenfassung

Mit steigendem Alter nimmt die nächtliche Schlafkonsolidierung ab, kurze Nickerchen über den Tag nehmen zu, und die Schlafzeit verschiebt sich in frühere Stunden. Die Schlafregulation hängt von der Interaktion zwischen einem zirkadianen Schrittmacher (biologische Uhr) und dem Schlafhomöostaten (je länger die Wachphase, desto größer der Schlafdruck) ab. Wir konnten an gesunden älteren Personen zeigen, dass sich die Amplitude zirkadianer Rhythmen (z. B. die Melatonin-Sekretion) und die Tiefschlafdauer verringert. Gleichzeitig nimmt die Müdigkeit am Nachmittag zu, wie auch die Tendenz—im Gegensatz zu jüngeren Personen—am frühen Abend einzuschlafen. Da Licht der Hauptzeitgeber ist, um die biologische Uhr zu stabilisieren, brauchen ältere Menschen tagsüber und am Abend genügend Licht und sollten während des Tages keine oder nur kurze Nickerchen machen, um in der Folge den Schlaf in der Nacht zu verbessern.

Schlüsselwörter

Zirkadiane Rhythmik Schlafhomöostase Melatonin Nickerchen Licht 

Sleep and circadian rhythms in ageing

Summary

With age, the consolidation of nocturnal sleep decreases, daytime napping increases, and sleep occurs earlier. Sleep regulation is dependent on the interaction between a circadian pacemaker (biological clock) and the sleep homeostat (sleep pressure increasing with duration of time awake). We have shown that in the healthy elderly, the amplitude of circadian rhythms (e. g. melatonin secretion) declines, as does slow wave sleep, parallel with an increase in afternoon sleepiness and a tendency to fall asleep in the early evening when younger subjects do not. Light is the major zeitgeber to stabilise the biological clock: older subjects require sufficient light exposure during daytime and in the evening, and should take no or only brief naps during the day to improve sleep.

Key words

Circadian system sleep homeostat melatonin naps light 

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Münch
    • 1
  • C. Cajochen
    • 1
  • A. Wirz-Justice
    • 1
  1. 1.Zentrum der ChronobiologieUniversitäre Psychiatrische KlinikenBaselSchweiz

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