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The Course of Subjective Sleep Quality in Middle and Old Adulthood and Its Relation to Physical Health

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  • Sakari Lemola
  • David Richter

Abstract

Objective: Older adults more often complain about sleep disturbances compared to younger adults. However, it is not clear whether there is still a decline of sleep qualityafter age 60 and whether changes in sleep quality in old age are mere reflections of impaired physical health or whether they represent a normative age dependent development. Method: Subjective sleep quality and perceived physical health were assessed in a large representative sample of 14,179 participants (52.7% females; age range 18-85) from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study across 4 yearly measurement time points. Results: Subjective sleep quality linearly declined from young adulthood until age 60. After age 60 a transient increase in subjective sleep quality occurred that coincides with retirement. Physical health prospectively predicted subjective sleep quality and vice versa. These relations were similar for participants above and below age 60. Discussion: Around retirement a transient increase in subjective sleep quality occurs, which may reflect a decrease in work related distress or an increase in flexibility to organize the day according to one's circadian preferences. Perceived physical health is important for subjective sleep quality in old adults, but not more important than at younger age.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 516.

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Length: 28 p.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp516

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Keywords: Sleep quality; Physical health; Old age; Retirement; German Socio-Economic Panel Study;

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References

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  1. Cornelia Wrzus & Andreas M. Brandmaier & Timo von Oertzen & Viktor Müller & Gert G. Wagner & Michaela Riediger, 2012. "A New Approach for Assessing Sleep Duration and Postures from Ambulatory Accelerometry," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 507, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Jule Specht & Boris Egloff & Stefan C. Schmukle, 2011. "Stability and Change of Personality across the Life Course: The Impact of Age and Major Life Events on Mean-Level and Rank-Order Stability of the Big Five," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 377, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  4. Christina S. McCrae & Meredeth A. Rowe & Candece G. Tierney & Natalie D. Dautovich & Allison L. DeFinis & Joseph P. H. McNamara, 2005. "Sleep Complaints, Subjective and Objective Sleep Patterns, Health, Psychological Adjustment, and Daytime Functioning in Community-Dwelling Older Adults," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 60(4), pages P182-P189.
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Cited by:
  1. Eibich, P.;, 2014. "Understanding the effect of retirement on health using Regression Discontinuity Design," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 14/10, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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