Monday, August 18, 2008

Older Adult Caregivers Of Dementia Sufferers Have Worse Sleep Than Noncaregivers

A study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that the
sleep patterns of older adults who live with and provide direct care
during the night for a person with dementia are significantly worse
than other older adults.


When sleep was measured objectively, and after adjusting for
depressive symptoms, age, health condition and education, adults who
take care of a person suffering from dementia took longer to fall sleep
and had less total sleep than noncaregivers. Caregivers slept for an
average of about 6.5 hours per night, which was about 33 minutes less
than noncaregivers, and they took about 10 minutes longer to fall
asleep. Caregiver sleep also was more variable from night-to-night, and
caregivers reported lower subjective sleep quality, had higher scores
of daytime sleepiness on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and had higher
depressive symptom scores.


"On average, caregivers only slept about six -and-a-half hours
a night and took almost 23 minutes to fall asleep," said primary
investigator Meredith Rowe, PhD, associate professor at the University
of Florida. "Using the sleep diary data that subjects kept at the same
time, however, depression was the primary determinant of poor sleep
with depressed subjects reporting less time asleep and more wake time
over the week."

1 comment:

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