Objectives: To better understand links between anxiety and sleep disturbances in older adults, we examined the association of different phenotypic presentations of anxiety (i.e., affective, cognitive, and somatic clusters) with global sleep quality and daytime sleepiness.
Methods: 109 community-dwelling adults aged 66-92 years old (57% female) completed assessments of global sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale), affective anxiety symptoms (Geriatric Anxiety Scale (GAS) affective subscale), cognitive anxiety symptoms (GAS cognitive subscale), and somatic anxiety symptoms (GAS somatic subscale).
Results: In hierarchical regression models adjusted for depressive symptoms and health status, greater affective and somatic anxiety were associated with poorer global sleep quality (affective B = 0.30, p = .01; somatic B = 0.41, p = .01). Somatic and cognitive anxiety were associated with greater daytime sleepiness (somatic B = 0.74, p < .001; cognitive B = 0.30, p = .03), but these associations were attenuated by covariates added to the models.
Discussion: These findings indicate that anxiety symptom clusters are differentially associated with specific sleep-related disturbances, underscoring the complex relationship of late-life anxiety to sleep. Results suggest that personalized treatments, such as targeted sleep interventions, may improve specific anxiety-symptom domains, or vice versa.
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.