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Insomnia in the Older Adult

  • Lianqi Liu
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

    Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, Department of Psychiatry 116A, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92161, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Sonia Ancoli-Israel
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Department of Psychiatry 116A, VASDHS, University of California San Diego, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92161.
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

    Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, Department of Psychiatry 116A, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92161, USA
    Search for articles by this author
      Insomnia is defined as a repeated difficulty with sleep initiation or maintenance that occurs despite adequate time and opportunity for sleep. In addition, this difficulty with sleep results in some form of daytime impairment, such as clinically significant distress, fatigue, or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning [
      • American Psychiatric Association
      Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders.
      ,
      • American Academy of Sleep Medicine
      The international classification of sleep disorders.
      ]. Insomnia generally can be divided into two types of complaints, acute (short-term/transient) or chronic, depending upon the duration of the sleep difficulty. Acute insomnia is short in duration, typically a few days to a few weeks, and generally improves without intervention or with short-term hypnotic medication therapy. In the elderly, acute insomnia may be caused by retirement, bereavement, adjustment to medical difficulties and physical limitations, and other changes in life circumstances. Chronic insomnia lasts at least 1 month, is usually comorbid with other conditions, and can seriously affect daily functioning and quality of life [
      • Zammit G.K.
      • Weiner J.
      • Damato N.
      • et al.
      Quality of life in people with insomnia.
      ].
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