Sleep apnea and other causes of impaired sleep in older adults
- Steven H Feinsilver, MD
Steven H Feinsilver, MD
- Professor of Medicine
- Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine
- Section Editors
- Kenneth E Schmader, MD
Kenneth E Schmader, MD
- Editor in Chief — Geriatric Medicine
- Section Editor — Geriatrics
- Chief, Division of Geriatrics
- Duke University
- Director, Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center
- Durham VA Medical Centers
- Nancy Collop, MD
Nancy Collop, MD
- Editor-in-Chief — Sleep Medicine
- Section Editor — Sleep Related Breathing Disorders
- Professor of Medicine and Neurology
- Director, Emory Sleep Center, Emory University
Sleep-related complaints are common among older adults (ie, adults >65 years old). It is often difficult to distinguish whether the impaired sleep that leads to such complaints is a consequence of normal aging or a disease process, such as a primary sleep disorder or a medical illness [1,2]. The causes of impaired sleep in older adults are reviewed here, with a focus on sleep apnea.
THE EFFECTS OF NORMAL AGING ON SLEEP
Sleep-related changes are a normal consequence of aging (table 1):
●Phase advance – Sleep during the early morning hours is reduced and peak sleepiness occurs earlier in the evening [2,3].
●Sleep efficiency – The ratio of time asleep to time in bed declines, largely due to more nocturnal awakenings .
●Sleep time – Total time spent asleep decreases, although the reduction in nocturnal sleep may be partially compensated by increased daytime napping .To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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