Sleep Disorders

  • Nages Nagaratnam
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
  • Gary Cheuk
Reference work entry


The circadian rhythm is the major determinant of sleep and is regulated by an internal biological clock over a 24-h period. Insomnia is common in elderly people, and chronic insomnia is more common in this group. The changes in the sleep-wake patterns in insomnia have been attributed to the physiological changes that are part of normal ageing and age-related disturbances of the circadian sleep-wake rhythm. A careful sleep history is fundamental to the diagnosis and should include duration, quality, acceptable times (times of retiring and final morning awakening), frequency and duration of daytime naps. Careful assessment of environmental factors is necessary. The existence of medical and psychiatric conditions and primary sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea and neuromuscular dysfunctions should be identified, and the conditions addressed.


Circadian rhythm Insomnia Hypnotics Benzodiazepines 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nages Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Gary Cheuk
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of SydneyWestmead Clinical SchoolWestmeadAustralia
  2. 2.Rehabilitation and Aged Care ServiceBlacktown-Mt Druitt HospitalMount DruittAustralia

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