Current Sleep Medicine Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 268–277 | Cite as

Psychological Interventions for Late-Life Insomnia: Current and Emerging Science

  • Joseph M. DzierzewskiEmail author
  • Sarah C. Griffin
  • Scott Ravyts
  • Bruce Rybarczyk
Sleep and Aging (AP Spira, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Sleep and Aging


Purpose of Review

Late-life insomnia is a serious medical condition associated with many untoward consequences. The high prevalence of late-life insomnia, along with the concomitant risks inherent in the use of hypnotic medications in older adults, necessitates non-pharmacological (i.e., psychological) treatment options. We aim to summarize and evaluate the state-of-the-science of psychological treatment options for late-life insomnia.

Recent Findings

Cumulative scientific evidence suggests the efficacy of psychological treatment of late-life insomnia. During the previous decade, trials of psychological treatments for insomnia have begun to test various modifications to treatments that have the potential to improve access for older adults, along with expanding their focus to include individuals with comorbid conditions that are common to older adults. While these modifications represent positive advances in the science of treatment for late-life insomnia, the evidence is still largely explanatory/efficacious in nature.


Psychological strategies represent the best approaches for the treatment of late-life insomnia. Future investigations would be wise to progressively move towards increasingly pragmatic/effectiveness investigations, adding to the literature base regarding the treatment of late-life insomnia under usual/real-world conditions as opposed to ideal/artificial conditions.


Insomnia Sleep problems Older adults Late-life Treatment Intervention Nonpharmacological 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Sarah C Griffin, Scott Ravyts, and Bruce Rybarczyk declare no conflicts of interest.

Joseph M. Dzierzewski was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (K23AG049955). No other authors report commercial or financial conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph M. Dzierzewski
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah C. Griffin
    • 1
  • Scott Ravyts
    • 1
  • Bruce Rybarczyk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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