Insomnia - trigger for depression among elderly menJune 28th, 2011 - 10:11 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, June 28 (IANS) Men who have difficulty in nodding off are heading for a bout of the blues. Insomnia actually doubles the risk of depression in older men, says a new study.
“We found a strong link between difficulty in falling asleep and depression which cannot be explained adequately by reverse causality, that is, that depression causes insomnia,” said Osvaldo Almeida, professor of geriatric psychiatry at the Centre of Health and Ageing at the University of Western Australia.
“We didn’t expect to find this result, so it took us by surprise,” said Almeida in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
“Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and affects between five and 15 percent of adults over 65. People need to be aware that depression is not a normal part of ageing,” Almeida said.
“Sleep is just as important to our physical and emotional health in our senior years as it was when we were younger. Nevertheless, some changes in your sleep are natural as you age,” he added.
Sleep complaints are common in later life with nearly 50 percent of people above 65 years reporting trouble falling or remaining asleep.
The study found that of the 5,127 men taking part, 60 percent complained of poor sleep. Eighteen percent of these reported difficulty in falling asleep, 10 percent remained awake and 72 per cent reported early morning awakening.
“If you are an older man, minimise liquid intake before sleep: avoid coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate late in the day. Don’t use alcohol as a sleeping aid. Exercise regularly,” said Almeida.
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Tags: adults, alcohol, causality, chocolate, coffee tea, depression causes, disability, elderly men, emotional health, exercise, geriatric psychiatry, health and ageing, insomnia, journal of affective disorders, liquid intake, older man, older men, sleep, soft drinks, university of western australia