Social Connectedness and Older Adults' Sleep

Jen-Hao Chen, National Chengchi University (NCCU)
Diane S. Lauderdale, University of Chicago

Sleep complaints are common among older adults, and sleep duration and quality have been found to predict health outcomes; sleep is increasingly considered a behavioral risk factor for chronic diseases. In this study, we examined the effects of older adult’s interpersonal network and community participation on their sleep. Aging strongly influences the social network and community involvement, both of which are beneficial for healthy aging. We used data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationally representative sample of non-institutionalized older Americans aged 62-91 that included objective data on sleep duration and quality. Results suggested that only one network characteristic, total size, was associated with sleep, and it was a negative correlation with duration. In contrast, greater community involvement was correlated with two quality indicators: less time awake after sleep onset and less sleep fragmentation. Community involvement at old ages may promote better sleep quality.

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Presented in Session 206: Place Effects and Health: Methodological Innovations and New Findings