Online module

Optimising sleep

25 mins

1 week

Cost free

Certificate of Completion

Learn about some specific strategies that nurses and carers can use to help older people in their care sleep better.

Suitable for people working in:

Residential Care

This module is part of the course:

Sleep matters

Optimising sleep

Optimising sleep

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

Sleep matters

Optimising sleep is the third of three modules in the course, Sleep mattersThis 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

After identifying the factors that may be contributing to a person’s sleep disturbance, this module explores what changes you can make to optimise the person’s sleep. Our experts outline some specific sleep strategies that you can use to help people sleep better.

In this video module we consider what Anna’s sleep assessment tells us and what changes can be made to improve the quality of her sleep. The expert panel describe some specific strategies that you can use to optimise sleep with a focus on: depression; physical activity and diet; sleep apnoea; medications; light and circadian rhythm; and mental and social engagement.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module you will be able to describe a range of strategies to improve sleep in an older person, including:

  • Identifying and treating depression
  • Facilitating adequate physical activity and adjusting diet
  • Managing sleep apnea
  • Optimising medication use
  • Facilitating exposure to natural light and restoring circadian rhythms
  • Increasing the range, amount and type of daily social engagement and cognitive stimulation

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: 16 Mar 2023

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