Physical Examinations and Tests
Polysomnogram – The sleep study or polysomnogram measures the brain waves, blood oxygen, leg movements and breathing during sleep (Meghdadi et al., 2019). The Nurse Practitioner would be able to rule out physiological reason’s ad the cause for the patient’s insomnia.
Actigraphy: This is where a small device is worn on the wrist and it measures the person’s sleep wake cycle for a specified period (Meghdadi et al., 2019). This is convenient for this client and the Nurse Practitioner would be able to monitor the client’s sleep health and gauge the severity of the disruption of her sleep.The nurse practitioner could also physically examine the patient’s nares for septal occlusion.
Septal occlusion or deviation could lead to problems with sleeping even during sleep, this would be important for the nurse practitioner to evaluate as this could be interfering with the patient’s sleep.
Epworth sleepiness scale – assesses the patient’s tendency to nod off in various situations (Meghdadi et al., 2019). For this client it would be necessary for the nurse practitioner to assess the severity of her nodding off during the day time especially at unexpected times like during eating and other activities that would put her safety at risk.
G47.00 Unspecified Insomnia Disorder– The patient is experiencing insomnia at nighttime that could be related to several factors. She reports staying up late to watch T.V., depressive symptoms, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea and sleeping during the daytime. Some of these factors have not been ruled out yet as the cause of her anxiety.
G47.23 Persistent Irregular Sleep Wake type severe
F32.9 Unspecified Depressive Disorder
G25.81 Restless legs syndrome
Trazodone 50 mg – This medication would be the first choice as it offers antidepressant properties as well as promotes sleep in those diagnoses with insomnia. It is generally safe for the elderly population at low doses (Pagel et al., 2018). The Nurse Practitioner should monitor the patient and evaluate the needs to slowly increase or in some cases decrease the dose.
Rozerem 8 mg- Is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic that promotes sleep. The patient would benefit from his, but an added benefit would be that she would be at a diminished risk of falls as this is a concern following the use of hypnotics in the elderly. This drug is reported as one that would prevent less falls from over sedation (Pagel et al., 2018).
This writer has learned that it is important to conduct a complete evaluation of the patient and not just focus on the presenting symptoms. There are additional environmental and physiological symptoms that could be attributed to the patient’s insomnia. In this case the patient had several factors that could be contributing her insomnia and they needed to be ruled out. The cause of her insomnia could have been physiological from the sleep apnea or from her habits of staying up tool late at nights and sleeping during the daytime. It is also important to evaluate medications, social and economic factors before the resorting to pharmacological interventions.
Boland, E. M., Vittengl, J. R., Clark, L. A., Thase, M. E., & Jarrett, R. B. (2020). Is sleep disturbance linked to short- and long-term outcomes following treatments for recurrent depression? Journal of Affective Disorders, 262, 323–332.
FitzGerald, J. M., O’Regan, N., Adamis, D., Timmons, S., Dunne, C. P., Trzepacz, P. T., &
Meagher, D. J. (2017). Sleep-wake cycle disturbances in elderly acute general medical inpatients: Longitudinal relationship to delirium and dementia. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, 7, 61–68.
Meghdadi, A. H., Popovic, D., Rupp, G., Smith, S., Berka, C., & Verma, A. (2019). Transcranial Impedance Changes during Sleep: A Rheoencephalography Study. IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine, Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine, IEEE Journal of, IEEE J. Transl. Eng. Health Med, 7, 1–7.
Pagel, T., Seithikurippu R. Pandi-Perumal, & Jaime M. Monti. (2018). Treating insomnia with medications. Sleep Science and Practice, (1), 1. Uchmanowicz I, Markiewicz K,
Uchmanowicz B, Kołtuniuk A, & Rosińczuk J. (2019). The relationship between sleep disturbances and quality of life in elderly patients with hypertension. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 155.
Ulke, C., Sander, C., Jawinski, P., Mauche, N., Huang, J., Spada, J., Hegerl, U. (2017). Sleep disturbances and upregulation of brain arousal during daytime in depressed versus non-depressed elderly subjects. World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 18(8), 633–640.