The most common sleep disorder both in the general population and in seniors is insomnia. Many factors can contribute to insomnia, including psychiatric or neurological disorders, medical conditions, polypharmacy, medication adverse effects, substance use, environmental changes (home, hospital, care home), decreased sensory input (blindness, deafness), unrealistic expectations of sleep, lifestyle changes (retirement, change in daily structure), and psychosocial stressors. Finding and treating the underlying cause of the sleep disturbance is critical to effective management. Here are some illnesses can disrupt sleep and compromise the well-being of your patients, along with key sleep disrupting symptoms associated with those illnesses.
Key sleep disrupting symptoms: Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (sudden shortness of breath awakening a person); orthopnea (difficulty breathing while lying down)
Key sleep disrupting symptoms: Coughing; oxygen desaturation; shortness of breath
Key sleep disrupting symptoms: Heartburn worse while lying down or eating too close to bedtime; nocturnal cough
Key sleep disrupting symptoms: Fatigue; poor sleep quality; restless legs
Key sleep disrupting symptoms: Sleep disturbances with dementia-related sleep behaviors, cognitive decline, hypoxia, confusion, and shifted sleep-wake cycle; increased association of REM sleep behavior disorder with Parkinson disease