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Sleep Disorders In The Elderly


Sleep disorders in the elderly is no different than the sleep disorder in general. In this disease, the patient fails to fall asleep or get up, he/she will tend to sleep excessively or develop abnormal behaviors while sleeping. This is a common type of disorder in the elderly people.

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Sleeping disorders in the elderly may be due to several causes. The urge to urinate frequently at night leads to this disease. The pain of arthritis or neurological conditions may also lead to this disease. The patient may also suffer from congestive heart failure and depression, which may lead to sleep disorders in the elderly. The patients suffering from Alzheimic disease, organic brain syndrome and those who take prescription drugs, such as caffeine may also suffer from sleeping disorders.

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Signs & Symptoms

The elderly patients suffering from sleep disorders have the following symptoms:-

  • The patients will face difficulty in falling asleep.
  • They may even feel it difficult to differentiate between night and day.
  • The patients may tend to wake up early morning.
  • They may also tend to get disturbed in their sleep during the night quiet frequently.

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Conservative treatment Modern Medicine

The treatment basically revolves around removing the main causes of restlessness and sleeplessness, so that the sleep is induced the natural way. Relief from chronic pain of arthritis and control in the urge of passing urine may improve the sleeping pattern in some patients. Antidepressants may be given to prevent depression and lack of sleep at night. The environment before sleep should be kept in mind (the surroundings should be calm and quiet). The patient should be given a glass of warm milk to induce more sleep. Home remedies should be adapted to avoid the sleep disorders. Sleeping pills should largely be avoided due to their dangerous side effects. 


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