Sleep Disturbances And The Multifactorial Nature Of Insomnia

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Age-Related Changes. The previously discussed models and hypotheses are important in understanding the foundation of sleep disturbances and the multifactorial nature of insomnia. However, it is imperative to also acknowledge the age-related changes that effect sleep architecture and sleep patterns in older adults. The medical field has defined individuals over the age of 65 as elderly, and those over the age of 75 as geriatric. Many changes involving how sleep is initiated and maintained occur throughout the lifespan. Subjective inquiries reveal that older adults on average report spending more time in bed, but less time sleeping, waking more often throughout the night, earlier wake times, more frequent napping, and taking longer to …show more content…

Combined, the foundational models and hypotheses of insomnia along with the age-related changes in sleep architecture contribute to the understanding of the consequences and implications chronic insomnia in older adults. While sleep disturbances in older adults are often considered a normal part of aging, there are associated with reduced quality of life, increased healthcare utilization, institutionalization, as well as a risk factor for poor mental and physical health (Galimi, 2010; Krishnan & Hawranlik, 2008). Insomnia in older adults can lead to disruptions of sleep in their caregivers, resulting in the decision of institutionalization of an elder. Furthermore, chronic insomnia can precipitate psychological distress and is associated with difficulties in attention, slower response times, diminished cognitive abilities, daytime sleepiness, and impaired memory (Hildalgo et al., 2007). These factors combined can increase the risk of falls, fractures, and driving accidents in the older adult. Insomnia as a risk factor for falls serves as a strong predictor of long-term care placement (Hill, et al., 2007).
Physical and psychological health implications of chronic insomnia in the older adult contribute to a decreased quality of life. There is substantial evidence that suggests insomnia is an independent risk factor for the onset and maintenance of major depression disorder (Pigeon & Perlis, 2007). Depression and

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