Insomnia in the elderly: cause, approach, and treatment

The American Journal of Medicine
Nabil S Kamel, Julie K Gammack


Insomnia is a prevalent problem in late life. Sleep problems in the elderly are often mistakenly considered a normal part of aging. Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, is a subjective report of insufficient or nonrestorative sleep despite adequate opportunity to sleep. Despite the fact that more than 50% of elderly people have insomnia, it is typically undertreated, and nonpharmacologic interventions are underused by health care practitioners. This article will review the causes of insomnia in the elderly, the approach to patient evaluation, and the nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic treatment of insomnia.


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