A study in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal Sleep linked insomnia symptoms and daytime sleepiness with quality of life in older adults.
The study involved 3,078 adults over the age of 40. Their mean age was 62 years at baseline and 67 years at follow-up.
Results show that self-reported sleep problems were related to quality of life. An increase in insomnia symptoms was associated with a decrease in mental quality of life. Both mental and physical quality of life dropped as symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness increased.
The study also tracked the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. It was measured objectively by overnight sleep study. OSA severity increased slightly over the five years of the study; but this change did not affect quality of life.
“Only subjective measures of sleep were associated with quality of life,” lead author Graciela Silva, PhD, told the AASM. “These findings signal to the importance of perception of quality of sleep on quality of life.”
Scores for mental and physical quality of life were lower in women. The score for physical quality of life was lower in people who were obese.
The authors report that insomnia due to medical condition is common in older adults. Treating other medical problems often will improve sleep quality.
The AASM offers these sleep tips for older adults on SleepEducation.com.