A Survey of Sleep Habits and Sleeping Difficulties in an Elderly Swedish Population
A random sample of 876 subjects aged 65–79 years were investigated by means of a questionnaire concerning sleep and related factors. Sleep problems were reported by 23.8% of females and 13.3% of males. Moderate or major complaints of maintaining sleep were reported by 43.5% of subjects, early morning awakening 33.4% and difficulties falling asleep 31.4%. Daytime sleepiness was more common among males, and a relationship between daytime sleepiness and perceived poor sleep was found. Daytime napping was common, but not related to poor sleep. The prevalence of regular sleeping pill users was 7.6% for females and 3.0% for males and a relationship between sleep problems, sleeping pill usage and psychiatric symptoms was established. Among the regular sleeping pill users 39.1% had possible depression (PD) and 63.0% had possible anxiety disorder (PA). Among respondents with sleep complaints 29.8% had PD and 48.7% had PA. Sleep problems were also related to impaired physical health. Various medical illnesses contributed to sleep complaints among males, and depression affected sleep the most among females.
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