JLE

Psychologie & NeuroPsychiatrie du vieillissement

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Sleep changes with aging Volume 8, issue 1, mars 2010

Authors
Service de psychiatrie, Hôpital universitaire Purpan, Toulouse, Service de neurologie, Hôpital universitaire Gui de Chauliac, Montpellier

Many factors contribute to the alteration of sleep in older adults. Most of their complaints can be explained by the modifications of the sleep organisation observed in this population. Sleep architecture is altered with aging. Insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness can reflect an alteration of the circadian rhythm. This population is also frequently exposed to specific sleep disorders such as the restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movements or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Sleep disorders in patients with Alzheimer’s disease is a daily preoccupation at home or in institution. Circadian rhythm modifications and sleep disorders are frequent in this frail population and can induce disturbing behavior disorders. Before the prescription of hypnotics and psychotropic drugs, facing a sleep complaint practitioners should take into account the risks induced by these treatments that should no longer be the unique and reflex treatment in these situations.