Sleep: The Best Medicine for Elders

By Linda Shell, DNP, MA, RN, DNS-CT - July 25, 2018

How did your residents sleep last night? Sleep is as important to the well-being of a resident as food and water. Quality nighttime sleep can have a significant impact on daily function, alertness, and overall quality of life, enhancing cognitive and physical abilities and reducing the risk of falls. Until recently, sleep issues have been associated with the normal aging process. However, new research on nursing home care indicates that many of the sleep changes in residents are related to intrinsic, extrinsic, institutional, and/or environmental factors that can be mediated with appropriate interventions.