More than 50% of community-dwelling adults have sleep complaints. Because aging is associated with decline in physical function, coexistent sleep difficulties may exacerbate functional decline. This pilot study explored the relationships between sleep, age, chronic disease burden, and physical function among 50 community-dwelling older adults. Findings revealed significant relationships between total sleep time and preclinical disability (r = −0.33, P ≤ .05) and mobility difficulty (r = −0.36, P ≤ .05). A regression analysis showed that total sleep time was significantly associated with mobility difficulty and preclinical disability, even after controlling for chronic disease burden. These findings suggest that total sleep time may be a catalyst for functional decline.
Saint Louis University School of Nursing, St Louis, Missouri (Dr Lorenz); John Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland (Dr Budhathoki); Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Dr Kalra); and George Mason University School of Nursing, Fairfax, Virginia (Dr Richards).
Correspondence: Kathy C. Richards, PhD, College of Health and Human Services, School of Nursing, George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Robinson Hall A, Room No. 393, MS3C4, Fairfax, VA 22030 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The trial was supported by grants from the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Aging R01AG027778 (Richards) and T32NR009356 (Lorenz).
The data from this paper were presented in preliminary format at the Sleep 2012 Annual Conference in Boston (June 2012) and at the Gerontological Society of America Conference in San Diego, California (November 2012).
The authors do not have any disclosure to report.