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Geriatr Nurs. 2009 Jan-Feb;30(1):53-60. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2008.11.004.

Sleepiness or excessive daytime somnolence.

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College of Nursing, New York University, John A. Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, New York University, New York, NY, USA.


Excessive daytime somnolence (EDS) is associated with age-related changes, environment, circadian rhythm or sleep pattern disorder, insomnia, medications, lifestyle factors, depression, pain, and illness. The notion of "sleep architecture" connotes a structure that describes the sleep cycle (i.e., stages) and wakefulness during a single sleep period-that is, rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep. Circadian rhythms perform a variety of functions including regulation of the quality and distribution of the stages of sleep. Insomnia includes delayed sleep onset as well as premature wakening; sleep is nonrestorative. Comorbidities associated with insomnia are Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, delirium, depression, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, pain, degenerative diseases of the neurological system, and sleep apnea. Continuous inadequate sleep affects cognitive function, physical performance, overall well-being, and quality of life. There is a greater risk of falls from insomnia than is the use of hypnotics to manage it. Sleep disruption among older adults is underrecognized and undertreated. Assessment using valid tools can be performed rapidly. There are a variety of treatment options, including sleep hygiene and pharmacological and alternative modalities.

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