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Complementary and alternative medicine for sleep disturbances in older adults.

25 Apr

What Helps Older Adults Sleep Better? Melatonin, Valerian, Tai Chi, Acupressure, Yoga ...

A review from the University of Pennsylvania finds several promising holistic therapies improve sleep disorders in older adults .

Research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology reviewed the growing body of well-designed clinical trials testing efficacy of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) for sleep disorders in older adults. They point to three promising areas:

  1. Melatonin is an effective agent for circadian phase sleep disorders; less clearly so for primary or secondary insomnia;
  2. Valerian shows benefit in some but not all clinical trials;
  3. Chi, acupuncture, acupressure, yoga, and meditation improve sleep parameters in a limited number of early trials

The author recommends that more research be done in all these areas.

Citation: Gooneratne NS. Complementary and alternative medicine for sleep disturbances in older adults. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine. 2008 Feb;24 (1): pages 121-38, viii. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award