Does Sleep Improve Mental Health in Elderly Women?




Thomas, Kathryn
Redd, Lauren
Wright, Joshua
Meyer, Kim
Hartos, Jessica


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Introduction: Sleep and mental health complaints are prevalent in the elderly. Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between sleep and mental health in representative samples of elderly women. Methods: This cross sectional analysis used 2013 BRFSS data. Females age 65 and older from California, Pennsylvania and Florida were used since these states had high percentages of elderly populations. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess the relationship between sleep and mental health. Results: Most of the participants reported they had 30 days of good mental health in the past month (73-76%), and the majority slept less than an average of 8 hours per night (55-57%). After controlling for psychosocial and demographic factors, mental health was significantly related to sleep in California and Florida, and significantly related to multiple chronic health problems in all three states. Conclusions: Overall, sleep and chronic health problems were related to mental health in representative samples of elderly females. Even though this study did not determine the direction of influence, it is recommended that clinicians know about and educate their elderly female patients on the relations among sleep, chronic health problems, and mental health.