Publication Date



- The incidence of insomnia increases with aging. Insomnia can include difficulty falling asleep at the start of the sleep period, waking up during the night and having difficulty falling back asleep, and waking up early and being unable to get back to sleep. Difficulty staying asleep and early morning insomnia are common in older adults with insomnia disorder.
- When diagnosing insomnia, health care providers need to collect a thorough health history and include questions about the older adult’s sleep, medical, and psychiatric history.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia, which consists of stimulus control, sleep restriction, sleep hygiene, and cognitive therapy, is the recommended first-line therapy for treatment of insomnia in older adults.
- Because of the higher risk for adverse effects in older patients, medications should be used sparingly and, when possible, be discontinued.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia has been shown to be more efficacious than medications for the long-term management of insomnia in older adults.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.