Geriatric health Data Verified

Geriatric Sleep Disorder - Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Published on Mar 05, 2022 and last reviewed on May 16, 2022   -  5 min read


Geriatric sleep disorder is a sleeping disturbance in elders. Read this article to know more.



Geriatric sleep disorder is a problem that causes sleep disturbances in older people. The patient will have difficulty sleeping for the required time. There will be altered sleeping patterns and the quality of sleep will also be reduced. Normally, sleep should last for seven to eight hours. In some patients, there would be difficulties in sleeping for eight hours. It might be due to age factors or underlying health conditions. Some of the psychotherapy treatments are helpful. Medications are also beneficial.

What Are the Causes of Geriatric Sleep Disorder?

The main reason for a geriatric sleep disorder is an underlying primary sleep disorder condition. A primary sleep disorder will have the following features:

Some medications can also cause geriatric sleep disorder. They are:

The other common causes are:

What Are the Medical Conditions Associated With a Geriatric Sleep Disorder?

Geriatric sleep disorder is known to be associated with the following medical conditions:

What Are the Problems Faced by Patients With a Geriatric Sleep Disorder?

The patient will have generalized fatigue and they will have dizziness or sleepiness during day time. Patients with geriatric sleep disorder will wake up early at midnight. The main reason for sleeplessness in older patients could be depression and psychiatric illness. People who are lonely are known to have geriatric sleep disorders rather than people who live with their family members. Older people who have lost their partners are known to have difficulties in sleeping patterns as they might feel insecure most of the time.

How Is Geriatric Sleep Disorder Diagnosed?

A proper family history would be required for planning treatment. A precise sleep study would be required to analyze the sleeping patterns of the individual. This will require sleep specialists to gain exact confirmatory diagnosis. The following patterns will be recorded:

The oxygen saturation level in the blood is also calculated. If you are suspected to have primary sleep disorder, then you will be requested for a polysomnogram.

What Are the Treatment Options?

The first and the foremost level of treatment is aimed at giving behavioral therapy. The patient will be given counseling for relieving any depressive events as it might disrupt the sleep. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a therapeutic technique that can be used to help patients with sleep disorders.

Lifestyle Changes:

The patient will be asked to avoid sleeping during day time. Minimal exercise will also be advised for the patient. Practicing meditation before sleep is the best way to have a sound sleeping habit. The patient should avoid taking caffeine before going to bed. Avoiding medications is a good idea because the patients are already older and they would be consuming medications for other health issues. Taking sedatives might interact with the medicines they are already having regularly. A modification in the lifestyle will provide positive results. The following are the few tips that can be followed to fall asleep:

You can consult the doctors at

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
16 May 2022  -  5 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

COVID-19 and Lupus

Article Overview: Systemic lupus erythematosus is an immune disorder. Read this article to know more about the relation between COVID-19 and lupus. Read Article

Rajiv Ranjan Kumar
Rajiv Ranjan Kumar

What Is COVID-19? COVID-19, or the coronavirus, was discovered as a new virus in December 2019. It was first found at an animal market in Wuhan, China. It has spread around the world, traveling from the affected country to other places in the world. The effect in Italy and the United States Of Ameri...  Read Article

Is Aripiprazole safe for a 65 year old diabetic and hypertensive patient?

Query: Hello doctor, My father is 65 years old. He has bipolar disorder for 40 years. He also has diabetes. He is taking medicine for high blood pressure. For a very long time, he took lithium 1000 mg and oxcarbazepine 900 mg. 2-3 episodes used to happen, normally of long manic spell followed by gloomy/not...  Read Full »

What causes stomach pain and constipation in an 18-month-old?

Query: Hi doctor, My 18 month old daughter has had problems since birth and I am desperate for a second opinion. The history is complicated trying to explain the symptoms but I will do my best. It was detected polyhydramnios in pregnancy. My daughter born at 36 weeks 4 days through emergency C-section due...  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Geriatric Sleep Disorder or ?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.