Insomnia and Aging

            Old people tend to complain about their lack of sleep or the disturbance of what used to be a normal sleeping pattern (Johnson, 1997, p. 181). People past the prime of their life often lack enough hours of sleep, thereby pushing them to make certain temporary remedies to their condition. One of the remedies that old people do to address their lack of sleep is to drink alcoholic beverages so that they will feel sedated. Another remedy is for these people to use over-the-counter (OTC) medications as these drugs are easily purchased and are readily available.

            Julie E. Johnson (1997) further reveals that “urban women 85 years old and over experience problems with insomnia” and that these women “attempt to alleviate their sleep problems with alcohol, OTC medications, or both” (p. 186). Part of the reason why older adult females in the urban areas have to deal with insomnia is the fact that major cities are highly populated and are, therefore, robust and active even in night time. Noise and other physical disturbances can play a major role in disrupting the sleep of older adults living in the cities, especially if these conditions are frequently present in their environment. Apparently, these factors are beyond the control of older adults, thus forcing them to look for other ways to adjust to their surroundings such as consuming liquor and taking OTC sleeping pills just to get some sleep even under such disrupting conditions.

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            Johnson (1997) suggests that “further research is needed to identify interventions that are effective in promoting the sleep (p. 188)” among older adult females, and that nurses are in an ideal position to identify the forms of interventions since they are “the ones who work most closely with these women (p. 188).” Nurses can also help lower the tendencies of these women to consume liquor and OTC medications in countering insomnia.

Reference

Johnson, J. E. (1997). Insomnia, Alcohol, and Over-the-Counter Drug Use in Old-Old Urban Women. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 14(3), 181-188.

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