Pitt study: Western Pennsylvania seniors sleep better than expected
By Luis Fábregas
Published: Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Contrary to popular belief, most area senior citizens don't go to bed early.
When they do, they sleep well, University of Pittsburgh researchers said in a study released on Monday.
“We all have a picture in our minds of seniors going to bed at 9:30 at night and having a horrible night of sleep,” said Dr. Timothy Monk, the study's lead author and a professor of psychiatry at UPMC's Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. “It really surprised us that a lot of these folks are sleeping quite well.”
Researchers interviewed about 1,200 retired people 65 and older in Western Pennsylvania. They found that more than half slept at least 7.5 hours per night. They slept mostly from 11 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., which Monk said defies assumptions that senior citizens tend to go to bed early and don't sleep well.
The study, published in the journal Healthy Aging and Clinical Care, doesn't mean seniors don't have trouble sleeping.
About 25 percent of those interviewed reported significant sleep problems. Some said they needed sleeping pills, and others reported spending only 60 percent of the night asleep.
Complaints included waking extremely early and being unable to fall back asleep.
“For older adults, falling asleep is not the problem,” Monk said. “The issue is staying asleep. They might have pain from arthritis or simply have to go to the bathroom. That prevents them from going back to bed.”
Monk is recruiting volunteers for another study of people older than 60 with and without sleeping problems. For details, call 1-866-647-8283.
Luis Fábregas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pope Francis inspires incredible optimism
- One dead, one wounded in shooting at Chartiers party
- Film tax credits bill would bump up state budget
- Castle Shannon man accused of crashing way down Pittsburgh street
- South Fayette parents express dissatisfaction with handling of bullying
- Bethel Park man to receive degree from Pitt he earned 64 years ago
- Patients denied as donor organs discarded
- South Fayette mother wants case against bullied son to be dropped
- Newsmaker: Rosalind Ross
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- Man found fatally shot in Larimer a mile away from Homewood peace march