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Psychol Aging. 1988 Sep;3(3):258-63.

Treatment of sleep-maintenance insomnia in older adults: sleep period reduction, sleep education, and modified stimulus control.

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Duke University Medical Center.


We evaluated a behavioral treatment package consisting of sleep period restriction, sleep education, and modified stimulus control in the treatment of sleep-maintenance insomnia in older adults. A multiple baseline design was used with 4 chronic insomniac subjects, ages 59, 65, 65, and 72. Sleep diaries and an objective behavioral measure of sleep were used to monitor improvement. Results revealed clinically significant reductions in time awake after sleep onset in 3 subjects, coincident with the initiation of treatment. These improvements were maintained at 2- and 6-month follow-ups. The 4th subject showed little improvement; however, a polysomnogram conducted on this subject at the end of the study revealed a fragmented sleep pattern secondary to periodic movements of sleep (nocturnal myoclonus). These encouraging but preliminary results call for further controlled evaluations of the efficacy of this behavioral treatment package for sleep-maintenance insomnia. The importance of conducting polysomnographic studies on elderly insomniacs is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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