References on Sleep and Aging

Sleep Problems in Older Adults: Putting Myths to Bed. Geriatrics 1997; 52:20-30
S. Ancoli-Israel.

"Complaints of sleeping difficulties do increase with age. More than 50% of persons age 65 and older complain about getting less sleep, of waking frequently at night, of waking up too early in the morning, and of being sleepy during the day and consequent napping."
"Sleep in nursing home patients is extremely fragmented. On average, the nursing home patient is never asleep for a full hour and never awake for a full hour. Rather, she is constantly falling asleep and waking up."
"Older persons don't need less sleep; its time to put that myth to bed." Abstract

The Problems of Sleep for Older Women: Changes in Health Outcomes. Age and Ageing 2003; 32:154-163
Julie E. Byles, Gita D. Mishra, Margaret A. Harris, and Kichu Nair.

"Conclusion: Sleeping difficulty is a common and persistent complaint among older women and is strongly associated with use of sleeping medications. Both behaviours are negatively associated with health status." Abstract

Changes in Cognitive Function Associated with Sleep Disordered Breathing in Older People. Journal of the American Geriatric Society 2001; 49(12):1622-7.
Cohen-Zion M, Stepnowsky C, Marler, Shochat T, Kripke DF, Ancoli-Israel S.

"CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that declining cognitive function is associated primarily with increases in daytime sleepiness. Although cognitive decline was also associated with increases in respiratory disturbance index, this association did not hold in the more inclusive model which also included variable of sleep disordered breathing, oximetry, sleep and subjective report. One theoretical model could suggest that any relationship between sleep disordered breathing and cognitive function may be mediated by the effect of sleep disordered breathing on daytime sleepiness. Abstract

Sleep Dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias. Current Treatment Options in Neurology 2003;(3):261-272
McCurry SM, Ancoli-Israel S.

"Changes in sleep architecture and circadian rhythms, including increased sleep latency and nighttime awakenings, decreased slow-wave sleep, rapid eye movement sleep, and total sleep time, and increased daytime napping are widespread in people with dementia. In addition, cyclic agitation episodes ("sundowning"), nightmares or hallucinations, sleep attacks, and nocturnal behavioral outbursts are associated with specific dementia syndromes. Abstract