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Sleeping well at 100 years of age: Study searches for the secrets to healthy longevity
Date:4/30/2010

y 40.5 million people who are 75 years of age and older.

Sleep quality was reported in response to the question, "How do you rate your sleep quality recently?" Typical daily sleep duration was reported by answering the question, "How many hours on average do you sleep every day including napping?" Additional data were collected with other socio-demographic and health status measures. All information was obtained through in-home interviews.

The study also found that access to healthcare and economic status were strongly related to good sleep quality. Participants were 84 percent more likely to report sleeping well if they had adequate medical service, and they were 56 percent more likely to report good sleep quality if their family was in good economic condition.

"The majority of healthy elders could experience satisfactory sleep quality," said Gu. "Sleep problems at oldest-old ages likely arise from a variety of physiological and psychosocial factors rather than aging per se."

Adults aged 80 and over tended to have a sleep duration that was either shorter or longer than adults aged 65 to 79, which was primarily due to deteriorating health. Controlling for health conditions showed that participants who were 100 years of age and older were less likely than the youngest elders to sleep for five or fewer hours per day, but they were almost three times more likely to sleep for 10 hour or more.

The authors emphasized that the cross-sectional nature of the study did not allow for an exploration of causality. However, they suspect that there is a bidirectional relationship between sleep quality and healthy longevity. At the end of 2010 data should be available from the 2008-2009 wave of the survey, which will allow for comparisons with the 2005 data.


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Contact: Kathleen McCann
kmccann@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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