Assessment and treatment of sleep disturbances in older adults

Jennifer Martin, Tamar Shochat, Sonia Ancoli-Israel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sleep disturbances are common in older adults. These disturbances are often secondary to medical illness and/or medication use or are due to specific problems such as sleep disordered breathing, periodic limb movements in sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances. The prevalence of sleep disordered breathing and periodic limb movement in sleep increases with age. The circadian rhythm tends to advance with age, causing older people to awaken early in the morning. Insomnia is often caused by pain associated with medical illness. Insomnia can also be caused by stimulating medications. In institutionalized elderly, sleep becomes even more disturbed and fragmented than in community-dwelling older adults. Accurate assessment and diagnosis is crucial since effective treatment strategies are available for these sleep disturbances. The effect, prevalence and treatment of each of these conditions is reviewed. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-805
Number of pages23
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by: NIA AG02711, NIA AG08415, NHLBI HL44915, the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging, UCSD School of Medicine Fellowship for the Study of Alternative Therapies, the Department of Veterans Affairs VISN-22 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC), and the Research Service of the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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