July 24, 2024

New Study Reveals Sleep Disparities Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults in Canada

A recent study conducted in Canada has shed light on the sleep health of middle-aged and older adults in the country. The research, led by Western researcher Rebecca Rodrigues and supervised by Dr. Saverio Stranges from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, has provided crucial insights into the social determinants that contribute to disparities in sleep satisfaction, efficiency, and duration.

The study, published in Sleep Health, found that men tend to report sleeping better than women. This sleep quality disparity between genders was consistent across various sociodemographic backgrounds. Strikingly, the research contradicts previously held beliefs, showing that sleep actually improves with age. Specifically, older adults aged 65 and above reported better overall sleep health compared to their counterparts aged 45 to 65.

Sleep health plays a critical role in the well-being of middle-aged and older adults, who are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of inadequate sleep, such as cognitive decline and an increased risk of falls. Recognizing this, the findings highlight a concerning area for women’s health, particularly as they age, as women reported lower sleep satisfaction and efficiency compared to men.

The study also pointed out the impact of socioeconomic factors on sleep health. Individuals with higher income levels, those who are retired, and homeowners reported better sleep quality. This finding emphasizes the need for targeted interventions to address socioeconomic inequities in sleep.

Moreover, the study highlighted racial and ethnic disparities in sleep duration. Participants from Black, East and Southeast Asian, and other mixed-race groups reported shorter sleep duration compared to white participants. This disparity raises concerns about potential systemic issues that require further investigation.

The researchers explored 11 social determinants of sleep health, including sex, age, income, education, and ethnicity. The study relied on data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), a national longitudinal survey of approximately 50,000 adults aged 45 to 85 years. The results provide significant implications for public health policies in Canada, highlighting the importance of prioritizing sleep health in public health discourse.

Improving sleep health is crucial, considering its impact on other health outcomes and overall quality of life among older adults. The study’s findings call for targeted interventions to address sleep disparities and promote better sleep among middle-aged and older adults in Canada. By addressing social determinants, such as socioeconomic factors and racial disparities, policymakers can work towards improving sleep health and overall well-being in this population.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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