21 March 2003
Nearly two-thirds of elderly Australian women have some sleeping difficulty, and 15 per cent use a sleep medication, research shows.
Data from a 3-year follow-up of 10,430 women in their 70s showed that nearly half reported waking in the early hours, while more than a quarter took a long time to get to sleep (Age and Ageing 2003; 32: 154-63).
One in 5 women said they slept badly at night, and one in 10 complained of lying awake most of the night or of being kept awake by worry.
Women who had a sleeping difficulty felt their physical and mental health was poor.
Use of sleep medication was linked to poor social and physical functioning, poor mental health, falls, accidents and an increased need for healthcare.
Last Reviewed: 24 March 2003