Dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep among older adults with and without insomnia complaints

Psychol Aging. 1993 Sep;8(3):463-7. doi: 10.1037//0882-7974.8.3.463.


This study examined the beliefs and attitudes about sleep among 145 older adults. Ss were either chronic insomniacs (n = 74) or self-defined good sleepers (n = 71). They rated their level of agreement or disagreement (visual analog scale) with 28 statements tapping various beliefs, expectations, and attributions about several sleep-related themes. The results showed that insomniacs endorsed stronger beliefs about the negative consequences of insomnia, expressed more hopelessness about the fear of losing control of their sleep, and more helplessness about its unpredictability. These findings suggest that some beliefs and attitudes about sleep may be instrumental in perpetuating insomnia. The main clinical implication is that these cognitions should be identified and targeted for alteration in the management of late-life insomnia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sleep*