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Poor Sleep Increases Likelihood for Nursing Home Care

Update Date: Jul 29, 2012 12:40 PM EDT
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Getting a full night's sleep could have more extra benefits than you feeling refreshed. 

A new study has suggested that getting good-quality sleep could help elderly people stay out of nursing homes. 

Researchers studies the sleep quality of nearly 1,700 women with an average age of 83, and tracked how many were admitted to nursing homes within five years, and according to lead author Adam Spira, sleep disturbances are common in older people. 

"Our results show that in community-dwelling older women, more fragmented sleep is associated with a greater risk of being placed in a nursing home or in a personal-care home," Spira said. "We found that, compared to women with the least fragmented sleep, those who spent the most time awake after first falling asleep had about three times the odds of placement in a nursing home."

The study was published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Previous research has linked disturbed sleep in older adults with disability, reduced mobility and difficulty doing daily activities, the authors noted in the news release. The new study adds to this knowledge.

"Greater sleep fragmentation is associated with greater risk of placement in a nursing home or personal-care home five years later after accounting for a number of potential confounders," study senior author Dr. Kristine Yaffe, professor of psychiatry, neurology, and epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, said in the news release.

Although the study found an association between sleep quality and nursing-home admission, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

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