Sleep and physical functioning in family caregivers of older adults with memory impairment

Adam P. Spira, Leah Friedman, Sherry A. Beaudreau, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Beatriz Hernandez, Javaid Sheikh, Jerome Yesavage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Sleep disturbance is common in caregivers of older adults with memory disorders. Little is known, however, about the implications of caregivers poor sleep with regard to their physical functioning. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we investigated the association between objectively measured sleep and self-reported physical functioning in 45 caregivers (mean age = 68.6 years) who completed the Beck Depression Inventory-II, the Medical Outcomes Study SF-36, and the Mini-mental State Examination, and wore an actigraph for at least three days. Our primary predictors were actigraphic sleep parameters, and our outcome was the SF-36 Physical Functioning subscale. Results: In multivariate-adjusted linear regression analyses, each 30-minute increase in caregivers total sleep time was associated with a 2.2-point improvement in their Physical Functioning subscale scores (unstandardized regression coefficient (B) = 2.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0-3.4, p = 0.001). In addition, each 10-minute increase in time awake after initial sleep onset was associated with a 0.5-point decrease on the Physical Functioning subscale, although this was not statistically significant (B = 0.5, 95% CI 1.1, 0.1, p = 0.09). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that shorter sleep duration is associated with worse self-reported physical functioning in caregivers. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine whether poor sleep predicts functional decline in caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
JournalInternational psychogeriatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Burden
  • Dementia
  • Insomnia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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