Online module

Assessing sleep

30 mins

1 week

Cost free

Certificate of Completion

Learn more about the risk factors for disturbed sleep and how to assess the timing and quality of an older person’s sleep.

Suitable for people working in:

Residential Care

This module is part of the course:

Sleep matters

Assessing sleep

Assessing sleep

This module is part of the course, Sleep matters. Enrol in this module or complete the full course.

Sleep matters

Assessing sleep is the second of three modules in the course, Sleep matters. This course has been designed to highlight some of the issues older people have with their sleep and what nurses and care workers can do to optimise sleep for those living in aged care. Completing this course will help you better manage situations where a person is having trouble with their sleep and gain an understanding of the association between sleep and dementia.

Module description

In this module we show you how to assess the quality and timing of an older person’s sleep: are they getting enough sleep at night and is it sufficient to not feel tired or sleepy during the day. You will also hear from our panel of experts about some of the issues to consider when assessing sleep in an older person.

In this video module you’ll learn about assessing a person’s sleep patterns and see a sleep assessment of Anna, an aged care resident who is having some problems with her sleep. We explore issues to consider when assessing sleep in an older person: depression; physical activity and diet; sleep apnoea; medications; light and circadian rhythm; and mental and social engagement.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the module you will be able to:

  • Describe key points about the timing and quality of sleep - restorative sleep
  • Describe the role of the following factors in assessing sleep in an older person:
    • Medications
    • Diet and exercise
    • Exposure to light
    • Social & cognitive engagement
    • Depression
    • Pain
    • Environmental factors
  • Conduct a sleep assessment, using the SleepCog tool.

Continuing Professional Development

A completion certificate for CPD credit is awarded upon completion of this course.


This Dementia Training Australia resource has been developed in association with the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney.

Content leaders:

  • Professor Sharon Naismith, NHMRC Dementia Leadership Fellow and Leonard P Ullman Chair in Psychology, Brain & Mind Centre and Charles Perkins Centre Chief Investigator, Centre of Research Excellence to Optimise Sleep in Brain Ageing and Neurodegeneration, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney.
  • Associate Professor Christopher Gordon, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, CIRUS Centre for Sleep and Chronobiology, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.
  • Dr Shantel Duffy, NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow, ESSAM Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Nutritionist, Brain & Mind Centre and Charles Perkins Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney.
  • Professor Elizabeth Beattie, Director, Dementia Training Australia, Aged and Dementia Care Nursing, Queensland University of Technology.

Content contributors:

  • Dr Chris Blackwell
  • Professor Ron Grunstein AM
  • Associate Professor Bandana Saini
  • Associate Professor Delwyn Bartlett
  • Dr Loren Mowszowki

The videos were produced by Fire Films in conjunction with Professor Andrew Robinson, and the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, University of Tasmania.

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Version history

Published: 13 Aug 2020
Updated: 14 Jul 2023

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