Variability in Self-Reported Normal Sleep Across the Adult Age Span


Objectives. Illustrate the importance of examining within- and between-person differences in sleep across the adult age span. Method. 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. Results. 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. Discussion. 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.

Age-related change, Intraindividual variability, Sleep, HEALTH INTERVIEW SURVEY, LIFE-STYLE REGULARITY, OLDER-ADULTS, DURATION, QUALITY, TIME, Geriatrics & Gerontology, Gerontology, Psychology, Psychology, Multidisciplinary
Dillon, H., Lichstein, K., Dautovich, N., Taylor, D., Riedel, B., Bush A. (2014): Variability in Self-Reported Normal Sleep Across the Adult Age Span. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 70(1).