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Sleep Med. 2001 May;2(3):233-237.

Sleep complaints in women of ages 40-64 years in relation to sleep in their parents.

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Family Medicine Stockholm, Karolinska Institutet, SE 141 57, Huddinge, Sweden


Objective: To study the occurrence of sleep complaints in women in relation to such complaints in their parents.Background: Sleep complaints are common and may be affected by many somatic, mental, and life-style and environmental factors.Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was undertaken among 3669 randomly selected women of ages 40-64 years. The women were asked about their own health and sleep and their recollection of the sleep of their parents.Results: The frequency of poor sleep was low among women reporting that neither parent had sleep disturbances. Sleep disturbances in the father, mother and both parents implied a 2.5 (95% confidence interval, 2.0-3.2), 2.5 (2.1-3.0) and 4.8-fold (3.4-6.8) increase in sleep complaints in the investigated women, respectively. The frequencies of numerous awakenings, difficulty in falling asleep again and too little sleep increased similarly. A series of logistic regression analyses revealed that all sleep characteristics were evaluated more negatively in women who reported sleep disturbances in their parents and also reported themselves to be in poor health. All sleep variables deteriorated with age. Because data regarding parent sleep was based on subjects' recall of that sleep, the results should be interpreted with some caution.Conclusions: The frequency of sleep complaints in women aged from 40 to 64 years was increased if sleep disturbances were reported in their parents.

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