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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 84-93

Insomnia in elderly: A neglected epidemic


Department of Psychiatry, Geriatric Clinic and Services, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Palanimuthu T Sivakumar
Department of Psychiatry, Geriatric Clinic and Services, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jgmh.jgmh_15_18

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Sleep is an important vital function. Sleep promotes many functions such as restoration of body, repair of tissues, immune regulation, and consolidation of memory. Insomnia is one of the most common complaints in patients with mental health problems. The prevalence of insomnia is higher in elderly than in general population. The reasons could be due to physiological changes in sleep architecture with aging, high medical morbidity, multiple medication, loneliness, and environmental factors causing sleep disturbances. Although insomnia is a common troubling problem in the elderly, only minority seek professional help. Some elderly self-medicate with over-the-counter medications for their sleep problems. These practices lead to serious adverse effects over the long term. There are many myths related to insomnia in elderly. Thus, insomnia in elderly is often under-recognized and under-treated problem. In this article, we review the literature on sleep problems in the elderly and discuss the systematic evaluation of insomnia in the elderly.


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