Poor Sleep Common in Assisted Living Facility Residents

Sleep disturbances linked to reduced quality of life, day-to-day functioning, increased depression
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Many residents of assisted living facilities (ALFs) experience poor sleep, which appears to correlate with lower quality of life, difficulty in daily functioning, and increased depression, according to research published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Jennifer L. Martin, Ph.D., of the University of California at Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a prospective, observational cohort study with six months' follow-up of 121 residents of 18 ALFs in the Los Angeles area.

The researchers found that 65 percent of the subjects experienced clinically significant sleep disturbances. Self-reported sleep disturbances at baseline were associated with worse health-related quality of life scores. There was also an association between worse nighttime sleep at baseline and worse functioning in daily living activities and increased depressive symptoms over six months' follow-up.

"Sleep disturbance is common in older ALF residents, and poor sleep is associated with declining functional status and quality of life and greater depression over six months of follow-up. Studies are needed to determine whether improving sleep in ALF residents will result in improvements in these outcomes. Well-established treatments should be adapted for use in ALFs and systematically evaluated in future research," the authors write.

One author received funding for this research from Sepracor Inc.

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