Sleep disruption in older adults. Harmful and by no means inevitable, it should be assessed for and treated.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing in Little Rock, USA.
The American Journal of Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.32). 06/2007; 107(5):40-9; quiz 50. DOI: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000268167.48606.74
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Insomnia is not a normal part of aging, but nighttime sleep in older adults is often disrupted, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness and other physical, psychological, and cognitive changes that affect overall health. Even so, clinicians often pay little attention to sleep in this population. The sleep of older adults tends to be less deep than that of younger people, and coexisting conditions and treatment effects can more easily disrupt sleep. This article reviews the current literature on sleep disruption in older adults and suggests ways that nurses can apply the information in intervening to improve sleep in their older patients.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Delirium is a disturbance of consciousness and cognition that results in a confusional state. It tends to fluctuate in intensity and is often observed in older patients. Sleep is a window of vulnerability for the occurrence of delirium and sleep disorders can play a role in its appearance. In particular, delirious episodes have been associated with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome, which is reported to be frequent in the elderly. Hereby, we present a case-report documenting the sudden onset of a confusional state triggered by obstructive sleep apnoea-induced arousal, together with a review of the literature on the topic. We emphasise that, among the many pathogenic factors implicated in delirium, it is worth considering the possible link between nocturnal delirium and the occurrence of impaired arousals. Indeed, the complex confusional manifestations of delirium could be due, in part, to persistence of dysfunctional sleep activity resulting in an inability to sustain full arousal during behavioural wakefulness. Arousals can be triggered by sleep disturbances or other medical conditions. Clinicians should be aware that older patients may present disordered sleep patterns, and make investigation of sleep patterns and disorders potentially affecting sleep continuity a key part of their clinical workup, especially in the presence of cognitive comorbidities. Correct diagnosis and optimal treatment of sleep disorders and disrupted sleep can have a significant impact in the elderly, improving sleep quality and reducing the occurrence of abnormal sleep-related behaviours.
    European Journal of Internal Medicine 04/2014; · 2.30 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of relaxation exercises on quality of sleep of the elderly people staying in a nursing home. Control group had 44 elderly persons and the intervention group had 20 elderly persons in a nursing home. Quality of sleep in the intervention group increased statistically (P = .000). The elderly people should be encouraged to perform relaxation exercises.
    Holistic nursing practice 07/2014; 28(4):265-274. · 0.52 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A telephone survey of 1166 community resident seniors (658 male, 508 female, age between 65 and 97 years, mean 74.8 years) was undertaken, which included among other components telephone versions of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), and the Sleep Timing Questionnaire (STQ). The median PSQI score was 5 and the median ESS score 6, suggesting that neither sleep problems, nor daytime sleepiness problems, were particularly prevalent in this sample of seniors. The STQ indicated that the habitual timing of the sleep episode appeared to be within the usual 11 pm to 7:30 am range, with about 7.5 hours of actual sleep within that interval being reported. There was, however, a sizable minority who broke this pattern, with 25% of the sample reporting less than 6.7 hours of sleep, and problems with nocturnal sleep and daytime sleepiness.
    Healthy Aging & Clinical Care in the Elderly 11/2012; 4:33-40.