Health> Vol.6 No.10, April 2014

Treating Comorbid Insomnia in Older Adults via Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment, Bright Light and Exercise

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ABSTRACT

Background: Insomnia occurs frequently in older adults. The underlying factors for the disorder are physiological changes of the sleep-wake cycle, comorbid diseases and drug treatment. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT I) combined with light therapy and physical activity can be effective in the treatment of comorbid insomnia in older adults. Methods: Sixty-three (63) insomnia patients (47 female, 16 male) with an average age of 66.6 years participated in the program. Before and after the treatment, the participants completed questionnaires to assess their sleep quality (PSQI), day-time sleepiness (ESS), mood (BDI) and well-being (WHO-5-Index). In addition, they kept sleep diaries for six weeks. Results: Pre-post comparisons revealed a significant improvement in sleep latency and sleep quality, as well as a significant reduction of day-time sleepiness. In patients with both insomnia and depression, all depression scores improved slightly but significantly. Conclusions: Non-pharmacological combination treatment using CBT I, light therapy and physical activity seemed to be effective in older adults with comorbid insomnia and improve additionaly depressive symptoms.

Cite this paper

Richter, K. , Myllymaeki, J. , Scharold-Schaefer, S. , Tomova, I. , Mayrer, R. and Niklewski, G. (2014) Treating Comorbid Insomnia in Older Adults via Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment, Bright Light and Exercise. Health, 6, 960-968. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.610121.

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