Insomnia Affects Treatment of Depression

Depression occurs in 5-10% of older adults. Risks for depression include recent loss of a loved one, sleep disturbance, loss of physical abilities, and a history of depression.

Older adults with persistent insomnia were more likely to have depression. Treatment for insomnia is important to overcome depression. Treatment consists of medications and altering behavior that occue with insomnia.

In order for behavioral strategies to work, the patient must be willing and open to change behaviors. Changing habits, or behaviors can be difficult to do. The following behaviors are suggested:

Restrict the time spent in bed.

Establish regular wake up time

Go to bed only when sleepy

Stay in bed only when asleep

Practices that help sleep include:

Regular daily exercise

Daily routines

Treating medical problems such as sleep apnea

Using the bed only for sleep and sexual activity

Practices that hurt sleep include:

Alcohol use

Caffeine use

Worries

Poor sleep environment

Using bed for things other than sleep or sexual activity

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