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Social support from the closest person and sleep quality in later life: Evidence from a British birth cohort study

Stafford, M; Bendayan, R; Tymoszuk, U; Kuh, D; (2017) Social support from the closest person and sleep quality in later life: Evidence from a British birth cohort study. Journal of Psychosomatic Research , 98 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.04.014. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Supportive social relationships have been found to be related to fewer sleep problems and better sleep quality. We examined associations between positive and negative support from the nominated close person across 15years of follow-up with sleep quality in older age. METHODS: MRC National Survey of Health and Development study members reported sleep quality at age 68 (n=2446). Cumulative exposure to and changes in positive and negative support were derived from data at age 53, 60-64 and 68years. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores were regressed on social support measures adjusted for i) gender only then additionally ii) education, marital status, number in household, limiting illness, body mass index, caregiving, iii) and affective symptoms. RESULTS: Greater exposure to positive support and lower exposure to negative support over 15years were independently associated with better sleep quality at age 68. Sleep quality was poorer for those who experienced declining positive support or increasing negative support. Those who nominated their spouse/partner as their closest person at age 53 but not at age 68 had poorer sleep quality than those who nominated their spouse on both occasions. These associations were not explained by the covariates, including affective symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Based on repeat data on support from the closest person, this study finds a link between declining social relationship quality and poor sleep quality. Whilst acknowledging that the association may be bi-directional, the study suggests that interventions to improve older people's social relationships may have benefits for sleep.

Type: Article
Title: Social support from the closest person and sleep quality in later life: Evidence from a British birth cohort study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.04.014
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.04.014
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).
Keywords: Ageing, Longitudinal, Marital status, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Social support
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1555904
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