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Sleep schedule regularity is associated with sleep duration in older Australian adults: Implications for improving the sleep health and wellbeing of our aging population
Objectives: The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night for adults ≥ 65 years of age. Sleep duration below 7h per night has been associated with negative health consequences, so enabling older adults to obtain at least 7 hours per night is important for health and wellbeing. However, little is known about behavioral factors that support sleep duration (≥ 7h/24h) in this group. Our aim was to determine factors associated with sleep duration in older adults, and evaluate the utility of sleep schedule regularity in particular, given the relationship between lifestyle regularity (of which sleep is an important component) and health in this population. Methods: A sample of 311 Australian adults (≥ 65 years old; 156 male, 155 female) completed a telephone survey assessing sleep history over the prior 24 hours, sleep schedule regularity, demographic and health factors as part of a larger study of the Australian population. Results: Sleep schedules with variability in bed and rise times of > 60 minutes were associated with increased odds of reporting sleep duration below 7 hours per night (< 7h/24h; OR = 2.38, CI = 1.26–4.48, p = .007). No other behaviors were associated with meeting sleep duration recommendations. Conclusions: Sleep schedule regularity may be associated with sleep duration (≥ 7h/24h) in older adults.