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Insomnia in Older Adults

  • Nursing (R D’Aoust, Section Editor)
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Abstract

Purpose of Review

To evaluate and summarize recent research articles pertaining to insomnia in older adults that can guide healthcare providers on factors to consider when assessing and managing insomnia.

Recent Findings

Up to 75% of older adults experience symptoms of insomnia. Insomnia is associated with socioeconomic status, racial and ethnic classification, family relationships, medical and mental health disorders, cognitive function, and dementia. Although one-fifth of older adults are still prescribed sleep medications, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is the first-line treatment for insomnia and has resulted in short-term and long-term benefits for older adults.

Summary

To manage insomnia safely and effectively, healthcare providers need to consistently assess for insomnia during baseline and annual assessments, evaluate medical and social factors associated with insomnia, minimize the use of sleep medications, and provide referrals to and/or collaborate with providers who perform cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Insomnia screening is important as it facilitates early intervention, reduces the potential for pharmacological management, and enables further assessment and early identification of associated outcomes, such as cognitive impairment.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Funding

This research was supported by the National Institute on Aging (grant number R01AG054079).

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Nguyen, V., George, T. & Brewster, G.S. Insomnia in Older Adults. Curr Geri Rep 8, 271–290 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13670-019-00300-x

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