Complementary and alternative therapies to promote sleep for older people
Keywords:complementary and alternative medicine, sleep, older people
Sleep is a crucial problem in older people. The international classification of sleep disorders (ICSD)1 classifies sleep disorders into 6 groups: Insomnia, sleep-related breathing disorders, central disorders of hypersomnolence, circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, parasomnias, and sleep-related movement disorders. Numbers of older people suffer sleep problems, for instance: Insomnia; sleep-related breathing disorders, especially obstructive sleep apnea; And circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, particularly advanced circadian rhythm sleep disorders. These problems lead to many consequences, such as all dimension of health; functional abilities, and older people/ their family members’ quality of life. Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) is one among approaches for promoting quality sleep of older people, which will contribute to reduce the problems and consequences. This paper presents literature review regarding two main types of CAM for promoting sleep in older people: physical CAM, including massage, reflexology, acupressure, steam/herbal steam, warm bath/ warm foot soak, exercise; and psychological CAM, including relaxation, aromatherapy, music therapy, imagery, dance therapy, yoga and tai chi. These will guide nurses to promote sleep for older people suitably for individual contexts.
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