Purpose in life and incidence of sleep disturbances
- 656 Downloads
Purpose in life has been linked with better mental health, physical health, and health behaviors, but the association between purpose and sleep is understudied. Sleep disturbances increase with age and as the number of older adults rapidly increases, it is ever more important to identify modifiable factors that are associated with reduced incidence of sleep disturbances. We used multiple logistic regression models and data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative panel study of American adults over the age of 50, to examine whether higher purpose was linked with a reduced incidence of sleep disturbances. Among 4144 respondents reporting minimal or no sleep disturbances at baseline, higher purpose was associated with a lower incidence of sleep disturbances over the 4-year follow-up. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, each unit increase in purpose (on a six-point scale) was associated with a 16 % reduced odds of developing sleep disturbances (OR 0.84, 95 % CI 0.77–0.92). The association between purpose and sleep disturbances remained after adjusting for sociodemographic, behavioral, psychological, and health covariates. Should future research replicate our findings, this area of research may lead to innovative efforts that improve the quality of sleep in older adults.
KeywordsPurpose in life Meaning in life Well-being Sleep Sleep disturbance
We would like to thank the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions. The HRS (Health and Retirement Study) is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (Grant Number NIA U01AG009740) and is conducted by the University of Michigan.
Conflict of interest
Eric S. Kim, Shelley D. Hershner, and Victor J. Strecher declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and animal rights and informed consent
All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2014). International classification of sleep disorders, third edition: Diagnostic and coding manual. Darien, IL: American Academy of Sleep Medicine.Google Scholar
- National Institute on Aging (n.d.). World population aging: Clocks illustrate growth in population growth under age 5 and over age 65. Retrieved September 8, 2014, from http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dbsr/world-population-aging
- Steger, M. F. (2009). Meaning in life. In S. J. Lopez & C. R. Snyder Editor (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology (679–687). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- van der Spek, N., Vos, J., van Uden-Kraan, C., Breitbart, W., Cuijpers, P., Knipscheer-Kuipers, K., & Verdonck-de Leeuw, I. (2014). Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of meaning-centered group psychotherapy in cancer survivors: Protocol of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 14, 22.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Van Reekum, C. M., Urry, H. L., Johnstone, T., Thurow, M. E., Frye, C. J., Jackson, C. A., ... Davidson, R. J. (2007). Individual differences in amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity are associated with evaluation speed and psychological well-being. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19, 237–248.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Vincent, G., & Velkoff, V. (2010). The next four decades: The older population in the United States 2010 to 2050. Washington, D.C.: US Census Bureau.Google Scholar