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. [email protected].