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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2005 Dec;13(12):1077-82.

Age changes in timing and 24-hour distribution of self-reported sleep.

Author information

  • 1Program in Sleep, Aging, and Chronobiology, Wesley Woods Health Center, Emory University Medical School, 1841 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA. dbliwis@emory.edu



Aging has been associated with increased nocturnal awakenings, increased napping, earlier bedtimes and wake-up times, and more regular sleep-wake schedules. These patterns have often been ascribed to both psychosocial and medical factors, but nearly all studies to-date have been cross-sectional.


The authors present self-reported sleep data from 31 elderly subjects followed over a decade.


With aging, the number of nightly awakenings and daytime napping increased over time. Exploratory analyses suggested that individuals who lived with another person had earlier bedtimes, later wake-up times, and greater daytime napping. Intervening medical comorbidities also appeared to be associated with increased napping.


These results confirm previous cross-sectional studies and suggest a complex biopsychosocial matrix for the timing and placement of sleep in elderly persons within the 24-hour day.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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