NEW YORK (November 3, 2005)-- According to results of a new Gallup survey released today by the International Longevity Center-USA (ILC), almost half (46 percent) of older adults receive fewer than seven hours of sleep each night, and a quarter (25 percent) believe they have a "sleep problem." Furthermore, older adults have concerns about taking prescription sleep medications including addiction, next-day grogginess and long-term side effects.
Although most older adults (80 percent) recognize the importance of sleep to their health, many who experience trouble sleeping remain untreated. According to the survey, 53 percent of adults who have spoken with their healthcare providers about a sleep problem are not receiving treatment.
"The importance of sleep to healthy aging is often overlooked in the medical community, but it's becoming increasingly apparent that good sleep could be a new vital sign," said Robert N. Butler, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the ILC. "Poor sleep is a condition that needs to be addressed, diagnosed and treated it could be as important as nutrition, exercise and social engagement to the health of older adults."
The Gallup survey also showed that 77 percent of older adults expressed concerns about the long-term effects of prescription sleep aids and nearly seven in ten (68 percent) are concerned about becoming addicted to them. Fewer than one in ten respondents (9 percent) deemed prescription sleep aids as "very safe."
Why are older adults suffering from sleepless nights? Worry is a common factor that interferes with nearly 40 percent of older adults' ability to fall asleep a trend that is especially common among primary caregivers. According to the survey, half of caregivers (50 percent) report that worrying has interfered with their ability to fall asleep.
"As the population continues to age, many older Americans are assuming the role of primaPage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
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