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A new study has linked disturbed sleep in older women to poor physical function during the day. The university of Pittsburgh research was based on 2889 women in which the subjects wore actigraphs, which measured sleep variables including total sleep time and hours awake after sleep onset during the night and daytime napping behavior.
Neuromuscular performance measurements include gait speed; chair stands and grip strength, while functional limitations were assessed as self reported difficulty with one or more of six instrumental activities of daily living.
The results suggest that those women with more disturbed sleep duration and longer wake time during he night, and those with greater daytime sleepiness as characterized by napping behavior, were at greater risk for poorer neuromuscular performance and poorer daytime function,” said Dr.Suzanne E.Goldman, of the University of Pittsburgh.
“Women with objective measures of poor sleep had more trouble performing independent activities of daily living. These results held up even after adjustment for multiple confounders and other explanatory variables,” she added.
Some other common sleep disorders in older adults include insomnia Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which can elevate the risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and cognitive problems.
Restless legs syndrome, where one experiences uncomfortable feelings in the legs, periodic limb movement disorder, a condition that causes people to jerk and kick their legs every 20-40 seconds during sleep.
Various other problems among older adults who have poor night time sleep are depressed mood, attention time sleepiness, more night time falls and use more over the counter or prescription sleep aids.
In addition to this lack of sleep is also associated with serious health problems such as an increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The study appears in the journal sleep.