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Medicineworld.org: Treatment For Sleeplessness In The Elderly

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Treatment For Sleeplessness In The Elderly

Treatment For Sleeplessness In The Elderly
Insomnia or lack of sleep is a common problem among elderly people. It is a more widespread problem than we recognize. Now scientists are suggesting that a brief behavioral therapy for insomnia (BBT) could help those elderly individuals suffering from insomnia.

Brief behavioral therapy for insomnia (BBTI) appears to be a promising intervention for elderly adults who suffer from insomnia.

The study, conducted by Anne Germain, PhD, and his colleagues of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, focused on 17 elderly adults who were randomly assigned to receive BBTI, and 18 selected to receive an information-only control (IC) condition. All participants completed clinician-administered and self-report measures of sleep quality, as well as a sleep diary. Interventions were delivered in a single individual session with a booster session administered two weeks later. Postintervention assessments were completed after four weeks.

The results showed significant improvements in sleep measures and in daytime symptoms of anxiety and depression in 71 percent of those individuals who received BBTI, in comparison to 39 percent favorable response among IC participants. Furthermore, 53 percent of BBTI participants met criteria for remission, while 17 percent of those in the IC group met the same criteria.

"These preliminary findings are consistent with prior studies that have shown that brief behavioral insomnia interventions can be efficacious and remain efficacious in elderly adults who present with the typical psychiatric and medical comorbidities linked to aging," the authors wrote.

Sleep needs change over a person's lifetime. However, elderly adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults -- seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

Not sleeping well can lead to many problems. Elderly adults who have poor nighttime sleep are more likely to have a depressed mood, attention and memory problems, excessive daytime sleepiness, more nighttime falls and use more over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids. Poor sleep is also linked to a poorer quality of life.

Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint at any age. It affects almost half of adults 60 and older.


PLMS COMMON IN OLDER WOMEN

Periodic leg movements during sleep (PLMS), a common condition in older women, can lead to long-term health problems. Those suffering from PLMS should not delay scheduling a visit with a sleep specialist.

David M. Claman, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, surveyed 455 older women, at an average age of 82.9 years, who completed in-home polysomnography. PLMS measurements included the number of leg movements per hour of sleep and the number of leg movements disturbing one's sleep.

As per the results, in a single hour, 66 percent of the participants experienced five or more leg movements, and 52 percent had 15 or more. In addition, leg movements disturbed the sleep of 27 percent of those surveyed on five or more occasions per hour, while six percent were awakened on 15 or more occasions in one hour. Those whose PLMS caused a disruption in their sleep had a significantly higher arousal index, lower sleep efficiency, a higher percentage of sleep stages 1- 2 and a lower percentage of stages 3-4 and REM.

"The importance of understanding determinants and measurement issues correlation to sleep disturbances in older women is underscored by the high prevalence of subjective symptoms of sleep problems and the frequency of chronic comorbidities in this population," wrote Claman.

Periodic limb movements consist of episodes of simple, uncontrollable, repetitive muscle movements that severely disrupt a person's sleep during the night, causing you to be very tired during the day. The movements tend to involve the tightening or flexing of a muscle, and occur most often in the lower legs. They can occur at two different times: while you sleep (PLMS) and while you are awake (PLMW). PLMS is much more common, and can disrupt your sleep a number of times.

PLMS occurs in both children and adults. The chance of having it increases with age, making it very common in the elderly. PLMS occurs in up to 34 percent of people over 60 years old.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
Insomnia or lack of sleep is a common problem among elderly people. It is a more widespread problem than we recognize. Now scientists are suggesting that a brief behavioral therapy for insomnia (BBT) could help those elderly individuals suffering from insomnia. Brief behavioral therapy for insomnia (BBTI) appears to be a promising intervention for elderly adults who suffer from insomnia.

Medicineworld.org: Treatment For Sleeplessness In The Elderly

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