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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2008 Oct;63(10):1069-75.

Sleep problems and associated daytime fatigue in community-dwelling older individuals.

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Department of Neurology, Sleep Disorders Program, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1301 Medical Center Drive, Room B-727, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.



Reported fatigue has been identified as a component of frailty. The contribution of nighttime sleep quality (duration and complaints) to fatigue symptoms in community-dwelling older adults has not been evaluated.


We studied 2264 men and women, aged 75-84 years (mean 77.5 years; standard deviation [SD] 2.9), participating in the Year 5 (2001--2002) clinic visit of the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) study. Fatigue was determined using a subscale of the Modified Piper Fatigue Scale (0-50; higher score indicating higher fatigue). Hours of sleep per night, trouble falling asleep, waking up during the night, and waking up too early in the morning were assessed using interviewer-administered questionnaires.


The average fatigue score was 17.7 (SD 8.4). In multivariate models, women had a 3.8% higher fatigue score than men did. Individuals who slept < or = 6 hours/night had a 4.3% higher fatigue score than did those who slept 7 hours/night. Individuals with complaints of awakening too early in the morning had a 5.5% higher fatigue score than did those without these complaints. These associations remained significant after multivariate adjustment for multiple medical conditions.


The association between self-reported short sleep duration (< or = 6 hours), and waking up too early and fatigue symptoms suggests that better and more effective management of sleep behaviors may help reduce fatigue in older adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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