Sleep problems and associated daytime fatigue in community-dwelling older individuals

Suzanne E. Goldman, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Robert Boudreau, Jane A. Cauley, Martica Hall, Katie L. Stone, Susan M. Rubin, Suzanne Satterfield, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Anne B. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Background. Reported fatigue has been identified as a component of frailty. The contribution of nighttime sleep quality (duration and complaints) to fatigue symptoms in community-dwelling older adults has not been evaluated. Methods. We studied 2264 men and women, aged 75-84 years (mean 77.5 years; standard deviation [SD] 2.9), participating in the Year 5 (2001-2002) clinic visit of the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) study. Fatigue was determined using a subscale of the Modified Piper Fatigue Scale (0-50; higher score indicating higher fatigue). Hours of sleep per night, trouble falling asleep, waking up during the night, and waking up too early in the morning were assessed using interviewer-administered questionnaires. Results. The average fatigue score was 17.7 (SD 8.4). In multivariate models, women had a 3.8% higher fatigue score than men did. Individuals who slept ≤6 hours/night had a 4.3% higher fatigue score than did those who slept 7 hours/night. Individuals with complaints of awakening too early in the morning had a 5.5% higher fatigue score than did those without these complaints. These associations remained significant after multivariate adjustment for multiple medical conditions. Conclusion. The association between self-reported short sleep duration (≤6 hours), and waking up too early and fatigue symptoms suggests that better and more effective management of sleep behaviors may help reduce fatigue in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1069-1075
Number of pages7
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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