24 July 2012
Can sleep indicate the need for care?
A lack of sleep has previously been linked with diabetes, weight gain and strokes; however, it now seems that a lack of sleep could indicate the future need of a care home.
Conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in America, scientists studied 1,664 women with an average age of 83. Their sleep patterns were monitored and the average length of sleep each night was 408 minutes or 6.8 hours. Participants were then contacted 5 years later and it was found that 71 (4%) went on to live in a nursing home and 127 (8%)
moved into a personal care home.
The results showed that elderly women who have a restless night sleep were three times more likely to move into care. This was also the case for those who slept the least during the night after initially falling asleep.
Study researcher Dr. Kristine Yaffe, M.D., a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, said, “Despite the growing literature on sleep disturbance and disability, prior to our research very little was known about the association between sleep disturbance in older adults and placement in long-term care facilities.”
Although this research did find a link between troubled sleep and placement in care there has been no evidence to show a connection between placement and the hours slept each night. More research should be conducted into this fascinating idea to determine if there is a stronger relationship.