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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2019 Jan;27(1):32-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2018.09.004. Epub 2018 Sep 14.

Prescription and Nonprescription Sleep Product Use Among Older Adults in the United States.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Center for Clinical Management Research, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI. Electronic address: maustd@umich.edu.
2
Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
3
Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Child Health Evaluation and Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
4
Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Department of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Older adults commonly use products that may be used to promote sleep, such as benzodiazepines and over-the-counter medications, but the current extent of use of both prescription and nonprescription products specifically for sleep in the United States is unknown.

METHODS:

Respondents in this cross-sectional, nationally representative survey (the National Poll on Healthy Aging) of community-dwelling older adults aged 65-80 (n = 1,065) reported difficulty initiating sleep or early awakening ("sleep symptoms") and use of prescription medication or nonprescription aids to promote sleep ("sleep product"), including prescription sleep medication, over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids, prescription pain medication, and herbal/natural sleep aids. Logistic regression was used to determine the association of respondent sociodemographic and clinical characteristics with the use of sleep products.

RESULTS:

Sleep symptoms were endorsed by 67.7% of respondents (95% confidence interval [CI] 64.7%-70.7%). Use of a sleep product was reported by 35.4% (95% CI 32.4%-38.6%), with 21.9% (95% CI 19.4%-24.7%) using OTC sleep aids, 12.5% using herbal/natural aids (95% CI 10.6%-14.8%), 8.3% using prescription sleep medication (95% CI 6.7%-10.3%), and 5.0% using prescription pain medication (95% CI 3.8%-6.7%). Self-reported fair/poor mental health (relative to excellent/very good) was associated with increased odds of sleep product use (adjusted odds ratio 2.28, 95% CI 1.10-4.72, p = 0.03).

CONCLUSION:

More than a third of older adults use medications or aids to help with sleep-most commonly OTC aids. Clinicians should routinely ask older patients about sleep-related difficulties and the use of nonprescription sleep aids.

KEYWORDS:

Sleep; insomnia; medication; older adult; over-the-counter

PMID:
30409547
DOI:
10.1016/j.jagp.2018.09.004

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