Self-reported sleep duration and time in bed as predictors of physical function decline: Results from the InCHIANTI study

Sari Stenholm, Erkki Kronholm, Stefania Bandinelli, Jack M. Guralnik, Luigi Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: To characterize elderly persons into sleep/rest groups based on their self-reported habitual total sleeping time (TST) and habitual time in bed (TIB) and to examine the prospective association between sleep/rest behavior on physical function decline. Design: Population-based InCHIANTI study with 6 years follow-up (Tuscany, Italy). Setting: Community. Participants: Men and women aged ≥ 65 years (n = 751). Measurements and Results: At baseline, participants were categorized into 5 sleep/rest behavior groups according to their self-reported TST and TIB, computed from bedtime and wake-up time. Physical function was assessed at baseline and at 3- and 6-year follow-ups as walking speed, the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and self-reported mobility disability (ability to walk 400 m or climb one flight of stairs). Both long (≥ 9 h) TST and long TIB predicted accelerated decline in objectively measured physical performance and greater incidence in subjectively assessed mobility disability, but short (≤ 6 h) TST did not. After combining TST and TIB, long sleepers (TST and TIB ≥ 9 h) experienced the greatest decline in physical performance and had the highest risk for incident mobility disability in comparison to mid-range sleepers with 7-8 h TST and TIB. Subjective short sleepers reporting short (≤ 6 h) TST but long (≥ 9 h) TIB showed a greater decline in SPPB score and had a higher risk of incident mobility disability than true short sleepers with short (≤ 6 h) TST and TIB ≤ 8 hours. Conclusions: Extended time in bed as well as long total sleeping time is associated with greater physical function decline than mid-range or short sleep. TIB offers important additive information to the self-reported sleep duration when evaluating the consequences of sleep duration on health and functional status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1583-1593
Number of pages11
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Disability
  • Epidemiology
  • Follow-up studies
  • Gerontology
  • Physical performance
  • Sleep
  • Sleep duration
  • Time in bed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Clinical Neurology


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