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Sleep disorders 

Sleep disorders
Chapter:
Sleep disorders
Author(s):

Urs Peter Mosimann

and Bradley F. Boeve

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199644957.003.0051
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date: 25 November 2017

This book chapter reviews the most common sleep disorders in older adults and their treatment. It begins with a brief review of sleep physiology and then gives an outline on how to take a comprehensive sleep history. Sleep is commonly defined as a periodic temporary loss of consciousness with restorative effects. There are physiological sleep changes related to ageing, but sleep disorders are not part of normal ageing and are often associated with mental or physical disorders, pain and neurodegenerative disease. The most common sleep disorders include insomnia, obstructive sleep apnoea, restless legs syndrome, REM sleep behaviour disorder, excessive daytime somnolence and circadian rhythms disorders. An in depth clinical history, including if possible bed-partner’s information, is the key to diagnosis. Patients need to be informed about the physiological sleep changes and the principles of sleep hygiene. They can benefit from pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment strategies.

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