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Sleep disorders

Insufficient sleep affects our daily functioning as well as our physical and mental health. While changes to our sleep patterns are a part of the normal aging process, research suggests that much of the sleep disturbances reported among older adults can be attributed to physical and mental illnesses and the medications used to treat them. Read more below.

Sleep and aging: How many zzz's are optimal to stay healthy?
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Getting a good night's sleep: Options for people with obstructive sleep apnea
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  • Web Resource Rating

    Sleep Apnea: Should I Have Surgery?

    OHRI
    This patient decision aid helps people with sleep apnea and other treatments have failed decide on whether or not to have surgery by comparing the benefits, risks, and side effects of both options.
  • Patient Decision Aid

    Sleep Apnea: Should I Have Surgery?

    OHRI
    This patient decision aid helps people with sleep apnea and other treatments have failed decide on whether or not to have surgery by comparing the benefits, risks, and side effects of both options.
  • Web Resource Rating

    The insomnia guide

    SaveYourself.ca
    If you suffer from insomnia, behavioural conditioning techniques (i.e. training yourself to sleep) may help. Details in this resource about causes of insomnia and tips to manage it.
  • Evidence Summary

    Pharmacotherapies for sleep disturbances in dementia.

    Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2016)
  • Web Resource Rating

    Chronic fatigue syndrome (systemic exertion intolerance disease)

    UpToDate - patient information
    Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) causes unexplained, extreme tiredness. There is no cure. Treatment to reduce symptoms includes antibiotics, cognitive behavioural therapy and exercise.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Sleeping tablets

    Patient.co.uk
    Sleeping pills are considered safe when used for a short amount of time, but can increase your risk of accidents, falls and dependence. Consult your doctor about medication options and other ways to manage insomnia.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Fatigue in people with MS: Can exercise help?

    Evidently Cochrane
    Exercise is a safe way to help fight fatigue for people with MS. Endurance training, muscle power training and other approaches (tai-chi, yoga) work best.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Sleep Apnea: Should I Have a Sleep Study?

    OHRI
    This patient decision aid helps people with symptoms of sleep apnea decide on whether or not to have a sleep study by comparing the benefits, risks, and side effects of both options.
  • Patient Decision Aid

    Sleep Apnea: Should I Have a Sleep Study?

    OHRI
    This patient decision aid helps people with symptoms of sleep apnea decide on whether or not to have a sleep study by comparing the benefits, risks, and side effects of both options.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Relaxation techniques and sleep hygiene for insomnia

    Informed Health Online
    Practice relaxation techniques and change sleeping habits to help get a better sleep. Create a fixed schedule, and specific bedtime habits. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking, exercise and large meals right before bed.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Insomnia: Should I Take Sleeping Pills?

    OHRI
    This patient decision aid helps people with insomnia decide on whether or not to take sleeping pills by comparing the benefits, risks, and side effects of both options.
  • Patient Decision Aid

    Insomnia: Should I Take Sleeping Pills?

    OHRI
    This patient decision aid helps people with insomnia decide on whether or not to take sleeping pills by comparing the benefits, risks, and side effects of both options.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Bruxism (teeth grinding)

    Mayo Clinic
    Tooth sensitivity or a sore jaw can be symptoms of teeth grinding. Reduce stress, avoid caffeine and schedule regular dental appointments to help prevent teeth grinding.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Male menopause: Myth or reality?

    Mayo Clinic
    Low testosterone causes changes in sex and sleep patterns. A healthy diet and exercise can help maintain your strength and energy. Speak to your doctor if you have concerns and be wary of herbal supplements.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Sleep tips: 7 steps to better sleep

    Mayo Clinic
    A good night's rest leads to better health. Set a sleep schedule, exercise more, limit napping and create a restful sleep environment to improve your sleep. Speak with your doctor if you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Chronic fatigue syndrome

    Mayo Clinic
    Chronic fatigue syndrome can be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms include tiredness, memory loss, unexplained muscle pain and a sore throat. Medications such as antidepressants and sleeping pills may relieve symptoms. Graded exercise and psychological counselling may also help.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Can specialized support improve the use of CPAP therapy?

    Informed Health Online
    Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Some people who use a CPAP machine find the mask uncomfortable, have trouble falling asleep or get a dry mouth. Support from sleep specialists and training courses can increase CPAP use.
  • Web Resource Rating

    A geriatrician's advice on sleep problems and dementia

    A Place For Mom
    People with dementia often have changes in their sleep patterns or problems sleeping. Avoid taking sleeping pills or sedatives as a way to manage your sleep problems. Set a stable routine, exercise and spend more time in outdoor light to improve sleep.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Tiredness (fatigue)

    Patient.co.uk
    Try to exercise more, eat healthy meals and snacks and relax to feel less tired. Talk to your doctor if you are chronically tired and don’t know why.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Napping: Do's and don'ts for healthy adults

    Mayo Clinic
    Napping can improve fatigue, relaxation, your mood and your performance. Naps may affect nighttime sleep for some people. A sudden need for more sleep during the day could indicate a health problem.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Therapy for insomnia?

    Evidence-based Living
    Sleep therapy can help with chronic insomnia. This involves talking with a sleep psychologist to build healthy sleep habits and relaxation techniques.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Bedsores (pressure ulcers)

    Mayo Clinic
    Bedsores are caused by pressure on one part of the skin for too long. Change position frequently if confined to bed or a wheelchair and use supportive mattresses or cushions. Check, protect and clean skin regularly.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Sleep apnea

    Mayo Clinic
    Sleep apnea causes your breathing to start and stop during sleep. Losing weight and quitting smoking help mild cases; airway pressure devices are available for more severe cases. More about symptoms, tests, treatments and questions to ask your doctor in this resource.
  • Web Resource Rating

    What can help when trying to stop taking sleeping pills and sedatives?

    Informed Health Online
    Sleeping pills can be addictive. Don’t stop taking your sleeping pills and sedatives suddenly. Gradually reduce the dose with help and guidance from your doctor. Psychological support can also help.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Obesity: Sleep

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Having a good night's sleep is important for good health and may also be important for maintaining a healthy weight. Lack of sleep may lead to increased hunger and unhealthy diets, lower physical activity and lower body temperature.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Is it true that sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure?

    Mayo Clinic
    You could be at a greater risk of high blood pressure if you sleep less than six hours per night. Try to get at least seven hours per night, as this may help prevent or treat high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about ways to sleep better.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Aging well with post-polio syndrome: Don't take fatigue lying down

    Healthy Aging & Physical Disability (RRTC)
    Assistive devices, tailored gentle exercise programs and managing activity levels can help people with post-polio syndrome or a disability ease fatigue or tiredness.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Insomnia

    Informed Health Online
    Talk to your doctor to find out what is causing your insomnia. Try home remedies such as warm milk before bed, exercise, relaxation techniques and good sleep hygiene habits, such as only going to bed when you're tired.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Sleep Apnea

    About Health
    Sleep apnea causes several eye conditions such as a floppy eyelid syndrome, glaucoma or vision loss. If you have sleep apnea, see your eye doctor for an eye exam.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Alcohol and disrupted sleep

    WebMD
    Avoid drinking alcohol before going to bed to improve your sleep. Alcohol prevents you from reaching the deep stages of sleep that gives your body the rest it needs. Do not rely on alcohol to help you fall asleep at night.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Sleep disturbance

    Canadian Virtual Hospice
    Poor sleep is common for people with advanced illness. Minimize time in bed and naps during the day, create a comfortable sleep environment and stick to a bedtime routine. Talk to your health care team to help treat poor sleep.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Sleep apnea: Treatment

    Canadian Lung Association
    Treatments for mild sleep apnea include weight loss, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, dental appliances or surgery. The only effective treatment for severe sleep apnea is the CPAP machine, which helps you breathe while sleeping.
  • Web Resource Rating

    A visual guide to sleep disorders

    WebMD
    Poor sleep can have serious impacts on your life and health. Practice good sleep hygiene and bedtime rituals. Talk to your doctor if you snore loudly or gasp during sleep, if you think a medical condition or medication is keeping you up at night, if you're tired all the time, or if you fall asleep during daytime activities.
  • Web Resource Rating

    15+ Sleep remedies

    Berkeley Wellness
    If you are suffering from insomnia, make some simple lifestyle changes in order to sleep better. For example limit your use of stimulants such as coffee and cigarettes, make your bedroom more sleep-friendly, create a sleep routine and stick to it and avoid using electronics with an LED screen.
  • Web Resource Rating

    10 Tips to beat insomnia

    NHS Choices
    Improve your quality of sleep by: going to bed and waking up at the same time every day; creating a restful sleeping environment; making sure that your bed is comfortable; exercising regularly; drinking less caffeine and eating and drinking less in the evenings, in general; not smoking; relaxing before going to bed; and making a to-do list for the next day, so you're not worrying about these tasks in bed.
  • Blog Post

    When "good nights" are rare: Do sleeping pills help people with dementia?

    Do sleep aid medications help to improve sleep for people with dementia?
  • Blog Post

    Getting a good night's sleep: Options for people with obstructive sleep apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea is a common condition that affects breathing during sleep. Treatments such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and dental devices can help.
  • Blog Post

    A pain in the neck! Does a specialized pillow really help?

    Neck pain is a common and disabling health problem that can affect your daily function including sleep. Specialized pillows have been used to help but the recent evidence is limited.
  • Blog Post

    Sleep and aging: How many zzz's are optimal to stay healthy?

    Many are concerned about how much sleep is 'normal' and how much we need for successful aging. Although there is no simple answer, the scientific evidence shows that sleep duration has important links to health.

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