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Sleep disorders 

Sleep disorders
Chapter:
Sleep disorders
Author(s):

Yohannes Endeshaw

and Donald L. Bliwise

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701590.003.0135
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date: 18 October 2019

The chapter describes age-related changes in sleep and sleep disorders that are commonly encountered among older adults. In general, the sleep quality of older adults is described as lighter (increase in stage N1 and N2 non-rapid eye movement sleep) and associated with more frequent arousals. Despite these age-related changes, healthy older adults do not report sleep-related problems. Previous studies have indicated that sleep-related complaints among older adults are associated with medical, neurological, and psychiatric diseases. Older adults with primary sleep disorders such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnoea and hypopnea, restless legs syndrome, and periodic leg movement disorder also report sleep-related complaints. These findings imply that sleep-related complaints among older adults are not due to normal age-related changes, but are associated with potentially treatable conditions. Hence, appropriate work-up for and treatment of these underlying disorders is indicated for successful management of sleep-related complaints among older adults.

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