Optimizing sleep in older adults: Treating insomnia

Alexandra M. Wennberg, Sarah L. Canham, Michael T. Smith, Adam P. Spira

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


As the world's population ages, the elevated prevalence of insomnia in older adults is a growing concern. Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling or remaining asleep, or by non-restorative sleep, and resultant daytime dysfunction. In addition to being at elevated risk for primary insomnia, older adults are at greater risk for comorbid insomnia, which results from, or occurs in conjunction with another medical or psychiatric condition. In this review, we discuss normal changes in sleep that accompany aging, circadian rhythm changes and other factors that can contribute to late-life insomnia, useful tools for the assessment of insomnia and related problems in older people, and both non-pharmacological and pharmacological strategies for the management of insomnia and optimization of sleep in later life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-252
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Aging
  • Comorbid insomnia
  • Primary insomnia
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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