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Sleep timing, sleep regularity, and psychological health in early late life women: Findings from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)

Published:December 09, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2022.11.001

      Abstract

      Objectives

      To examine the associations of actigraphy-assessed sleep timing and regularity with psychological health in early late life women, whose circadian rhythms may be impacted by aging.

      Design

      Cross-sectional.

      Participants

      A racially/ethnically diverse sample of 1197 community-dwelling women (mean age 65 years) enrolled in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation.

      Measures

      Actigraphy-assessed sleep measures included timing (mean midpoint from sleep onset to wake-up) and regularity (standard deviation of midpoint in hours). Psychological health measures included a composite well-being score, the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 Scale. Linear and logistic regression models, adjusted for covariates (including sleep duration), tested associations between sleep and psychological health measures.

      Results

      After covariate adjustment, a sleep midpoint outside of 2:00-4: 00 AM was significantly associated with depressive symptoms (β = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.06, 1.70) and scoring above the cut-point for clinically significant depressive symptoms (OR = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.15, 2.57). Sleep irregularity was significantly associated with lower psychological well-being (β = -0.18, 95% CI = −0.33, −0.03), depressive (β = 1.36, 95% CI = 0.29, 2.44) and anxiety (β = 0.93, 95% CI = 0.40, 1.46) symptoms, and scoring above the cut-point for clinically significant depressive (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.01, 2.79) and anxiety (OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.07, 2.43) symptoms.

      Conclusion

      Above and beyond sleep duration, a sleep midpoint outside of 2:00-4:00 AM was associated with depressive symptoms while sleep irregularity was associated with multiple psychological health domains in late life women.

      Keywords

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