SomnIA: sleep in ageing

Optimising quality of sleep among older people in the community and care homes: an integrated approach. 

Start date

December 2006

End date

December 2011


Good sleep in later life reduces risk of falls and depression, is essential for maintaining activity and performance levels, and reduces challenging behaviour encountered in dementia sufferers. This multi-disciplinary research project addresses practice and policy relevant issues arising from the nature, impact and management of the sleep-wake balance in later life. It will extend and join up strategically targeted areas of sleep research relevant to understanding and improving autonomy, active ageing, and quality of later life. 

Academic partners from six disciplines and four institutions, together with five non-academic partners, will achieve these objectives through research within eight inter-linked work packages. Multiple methods will be used to improve understanding of disrupted sleep and associated medication use in later life, using secondary analysis of existing large databases, and in-depth research with older people in the community and care homes. Interventions will be conducted to evaluate the effects of ‘blue-enriched’ light on quality of sleep in the community and care homes, evaluate a supported self-management programme for insomnia among older patients in general practice, and evaluate newly-developed sensor-devices to improve sleep. A user-friendly information and advice website on sleep will be developed, and a sleep education module prepared for the DIPEx website.

Funding amount