If you were having trouble sleeping, this won’t help.
Fragmented or disturbed sleep may predict future placement in a nursing home or personal-care home, according to a new observational study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
Rather than the duration of sleep, interrupted sleep is a bigger predictor of future placement in long-term care settings, according to the study.
“Women with the lowest sleep efficiency had more than three times the odds as those with the highest of nursing home placement … and more than twice the odds of placement in a personal care home,” according to a results write-up published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
This study, which included 1,664 community dwelling women with an average age of 83, is unique in that it collected objective sleep data rather than asking participants questions about sleep.
“Participants were asked to wear actigraphs on their non-dominant wrists for at least three days [to]… record movement.” The study then followed up five years later to determine each participant’s current residence, according to a release from Hopkins.
Still, because this is an observational study, the findings “cannot demonstrate a conclusive causal link between sleep disturbance and placement in long-term care facilities,” Adam Spira, lead author of the study and associate professor with the Department of Mental Health at Hopkins, said in a released statement.
“We need more research to explain how sleep disturbance might lead to this outcome, and whether interventions to improve sleep might prevent it,” he said.
Previous research has linked disturbed sleep in older adults with disability, reduced mobility and difficulty completing daily activities, HealthDay reports.