Day-to-Day Variability in Nap Duration Predicts Medical Morbidity in Older Adults

Department of Clinical and Health Psychology.
Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.59). 02/2012; 31(5):671-6. DOI: 10.1037/a0027374
Source: PubMed


Objective: The objectives for the present study were to (a) examine within-person variability of nap duration and (b) assess how variability in nap duration is related to the number of health conditions in a sample of older adults. For highly variable behaviors such as sleep, it is important to consider fluctuations within the person instead of solely comparing averages of behaviors across persons. Method: Data were drawn from a previous study examining sleep in 103 community-dwelling older adults. Subjective estimates of napping behavior were obtained from sleep diaries and objective estimates of napping behavior were obtained using actigraphy. Both measures were collected for 14 consecutive days. The sampled data were aggregated in terms of (a) average daily time spent napping and (b) average within-person fluctuations in daily nap duration. The health measure consisted of the number of self-reported health conditions. Results: Both the objective and subjective measures revealed that there was considerable day-to-day fluctuation in nap duration and that variability in nap duration, not mean duration, uniquely predicted the number of health conditions, b = .03, b* = .26, t(100) = 2.71, p = .01. Conclusions: Duration of napping in older adults is a highly variable behavior, fluctuating as much within- as between-persons. Furthermore, variability in nap duration from day to day is predictive of greater medical morbidity, suggesting that clinicians should assess for inconsistencies in nap behavior in addition to duration, frequency, and timing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

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    • "Finally, the amount of nightly variability seems to be independent of aggregate measures of sleep. A study of napping behavior in community-dwelling older adults found that day-to-day variability in naptime was predictive of medical morbidity while average nap duration was not (Dautovich et al., 2012). Therefore, sleep variability may be a potential target for geropsychology interventions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Illustrate the importance of examining within- and between-person differences in sleep across the adult age span. Two weeks of sleep diary data were analyzed for 592 normal sleepers ranging in age from 20 to 96 years. Variability in total sleep time (TST), number of nighttime awakenings (NWAK), sleep-onset latency (SOL), and wake-time after sleep onset (WASO) were examined overall and by age, sex, and race utilizing multilevel models and multiple regression. Night-to-night differences in sleep within the same individual generally exceeded differences between individuals for TST, SOL, and WASO. The amount of intraindividual variability in TST and NWAK decreased with older age. Further, the degree of reduction in variability in TST associated with age depended on sex and race, with young black females showing the greatest variability. In general, females tended to have more intraindividual variability in SOL and NWAK than males, while race differences were complicated by high variability between blacks. To truly assess and understand individual differences in the sleep of older adults, future research needs to take into account night-to-night variability (including what makes sleep vary from one night to the next), in addition to average sleep.
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    • "Studies in non-PD cohorts have successfully utilised daytime actigraphy as a non-invasive measure of daytime napping [32,36-38]. Furthermore, the use of actigraphy to explore sleep disturbance has been well validated in nocturnal sleep disturbance in PD [39,40]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sleep-wake disturbances and concomitant cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease (PD) contribute significantly to morbidity in patients and their carers. Subjectively reported daytime sleep disturbance is observed in over half of all patients with PD and has been linked to executive cognitive dysfunction. The current study used daytime actigraphy, a novel objective measure of napping and related this to neuropsychological performance in a sample of PD patients and healthy, age and gender-matched controls. Furthermore this study aimed to identify patients with PD who may benefit from pharmacologic and behavioural intervention to improve these symptoms.
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    Preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Sleep
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