Results of a recent study show objective and subjective differences in sleep patterns of older adults with and without caregiver status. A study in the August 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that the sleep patterns of older adults who live with and provide direct care during the night for a person with dementia are significantly worse than other older adults without caregiving responsibilities.
When sleep was measured objectively, and after adjusting for depressive symptoms, age, health condition and education, adults who take care of a person suffering from dementia took longer to fall asleep and had less total sleep than non-caregivers.
The most surprising finding of the study was that the caregiver group took a longer time to fall asleep, which is consistent with the greater worry and concern that caregivers may have.
Other measurement tools used in the study included daily sleep diaries, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the Fatigue Severity Scale. Participants were also assessed for depressive symptoms. Learn more about coaching for caregivers.
Full Article: Study shows that older adult caregivers of people with dementia have worse sleep than noncaregivers
Elayne Forgie, CMC,President/CEO