Study Suggests Association Between Sleep Patterns and Nursing Home Placement?

Older women with disturbed and fragmented sleep were three times more likely to be placed in a long-term care facility than elderly women with healthier sleep patterns.

Using statistics from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures, investigators studied data of older women who wore devices that monitored sleeping patterns for three days. Five years later, they observed that participants who spent the smallest proportion of their time in bed actually sleeping had about three times the odds of being placed in a nursing home.

I’m getting the association here. If you get up during the night and are disoriented, you may have a higher likelihood to fall. And falling in the elderly can lead to broken hips, etc. And that can lead to nursing home stays.

The Johns Hopkins University researchers also observed similar patterns of associations between disturbed sleep and placement in assisted-living facilities.
The findings were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The research was supported by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institutes of Health.

The importance of getting a good night’s sleep has been increasingly shown as important. We previously blogged about the association between sleep and Alzheimer’s. The lack of sleep may increase brain inflammation and that could be one association with the disease.

In any case, try to improve your sleep habits. Here are some tips.