Napping and Sleep An Actigraphic Study of a Sample of Community-Dwelling Older Adults

by Natalie D Dautovich

Institution: University of Florida
Department: Psychology
Year: 2007
Keywords: actigraphy, adults, napping, objective, older, sleep, subjective; Psychology
Record ID: 1811191
Full text PDF: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021003


Individuals face many challenges as they age and a common complaint is difficulty sleeping. Nocturnal sleep disturbances in older adults have been associated with a number of factors including daytime napping. The main aim of the study was to examine the relationship between napping and sleeping behaviors in a sample of community-dwelling older adults. The relationships between both subjective (sleep diary) and objective (actigraphy) napping and sleep variables were examined. Innovations of the study included the use of both subjective and objective measures of napping and sleep, an extended data collection period, the examination of the multiple components of napping behavior (frequency, duration, and time of day), and the study of a sleep classification system in relation to napping behavior. Consistent with previous findings, napping was found to have a differential relationship with sleep. Subjectively measured nap frequency and duration were found to be negatively correlated with objectively measured total sleep time, objectively measured sleep efficiency, and subjectively measured total sleep time. Objectively measured nap frequency, duration, and time of day of napping were found to be unrelated to both subjective and objective sleep. An analysis of categories of time of day of napping revealed that individuals who napped both in the daytime and evening compared to those who napped only in the daytime showed a decrease in objectively measured sleep onset latency, a decrease in wake time after sleep onset, and an increase in sleep efficiency. Finally, the four sleep subtypes (noncomplaining good sleepers, complaining good sleepers, noncomplaining poor sleepers, and complaining poor sleepers) were not differentiated by their subjectively or objectively measured napping behavior. The results suggest that 1) it is difficult to uniformly state the direction of the relationship between napping and sleep and 2) the mode of measurement (objective and subjective) plays an important role in determining this relationship.