Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint in older adults, with a prevalence of 20-40%. It is not benign, and can lead to decreased quality of life, worsening cognitive performance, increased falls risk, and an increased risk of hypertension and coronary artery disease.
Rather than prescribe benzodiazepines, such as temazepam, Mrs Browning is counselled about the normal changes in her sleeping patterns, a number of lifestyle changes are suggested.
1. regular physical activity early in the day
2. taking a short nap early in the day
3. trying relaxation meditation before bedtime
4. drinking a glass of hot milk or eating a banana before retiring
5. avoiding high protein foods at night
6. increased daytime light exposure
7. limits on alcohol and caffeine
If her sleeping problems persist, Mrs Browning will attend the 12 week sleep course.