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Study shows that sleep disturbances improve after retirement
Date:10/31/2009

des data from 11,581 male and 3,133 female workers who reported sleep disturbances at least once before and once after the year of retirement. Thirty-five percent of participants had worked night shifts, and 17 percent reported having depression.

Annual survey measurements ranging from seven years before to seven years after retirement (with a mean of 12 measurements) were collected throughout the study period. Participants completed questionnaires concerning health, lifestyle, individual, familial, social and occupational factors. The presence of sleep disturbances was indicated by an affirmative response to a single question from a systematic checklist of more than 50 medical conditions experienced during the previous 12 months. Information concerning occupational and health data also was collected from the company.

Results also show that there is a slowly increasing prevalence of sleep disturbances with increasing age, which can be observed both before and after retirement. From the first to the seventh year after retirement, the prevalence of sleep disturbances increased from 17.8 percent to 19.7 percent but remained significantly lower than at any time point prior to retirement.

The only exception to the general improvement in sleep after retirement was related to the four percent of participants whose retirement was based on health reasons. People who retired early because of a long-standing illness or disability had a 46 percent increased risk of sleep disturbances (adjusted odds ratio of 1.46) after retiring.

The authors conclude that in the present time when people are expected to live many years beyond the traditional age of retirement, consideration should be given to the restructuring of working life to enable older workers to remain economically active without compromising their future health.


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Contact: Kelly Wagner
kwagner@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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