Sleep disorders more likely in people with impaired vision

BLIND and partially sighted people are at particular risk of sleep disorders, according to New Zealand research.

Research showed those who were completely blind in one or both eyes were 2.41 times more likely to report unconventional sleep timing and had seven times the risk of drifting sleep patterns compared to fully sighted controls.

Partially sighted participants were 1.63 times more likely to report unconventional sleep patterns and were at six times the risk of drifting sleep patterns.

However, few were prescribed melatonin to help combat the problems, largely due to a lack of knowledge about the drug’s effectiveness among GPs, the researchers claimed.

A total of 157 blind people, 156 visually impaired people and 156 matched controls answered 62 questions on sleep habits and medication.

Melatonin was prescribed in just 4% of blind participants, and 2% of those who were visually impaired.

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