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Geriatrics. 1997 Jan;52(1):20-30.

Sleep problems in older adults: putting myths to bed.

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  • Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, USA.


Many people believe that older adults need less sleep. However, it is not the need for sleep but the ability to sleep that diminishes with age. Older adults are objectively sleepier in the day, indicating they are not getting enough sleep at night. Their sleep is disrupted by circadian rhythm changes, disorders such as sleep disordered breathing (apnea) and periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS), medical illness, psychiatric illness, medication use, and poor sleep habits. The physician can address each of these causes, thereby improving the night-time sleep and daytime functioning of the older adult.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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