Abstract

Subjective age-associated changes in sleep (AACS) and sex differences in AACS have never been prospectively investigated in elderly populations. We compared the AACS every 2 years over a total of 6 years between 4,686 community-dwelling healthy men and women aged 60 years or older who participated in the Korean Longitudinal Study on Cognitive Aging and Dementia. Sleep parameters including sleep duration, latency, and efficiency, mid-sleep time, daytime dysfunction, and overall subjective sleep quality were measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index at baseline and at each follow-up. The effects of time and sex on subjective sleep parameters were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models. During the 6 years of follow-up, we observed that overall, sleep latency increased, while daytime dysfunction and sleep quality worsened. Significant sex differences in AACS was found, with women showing shortened sleep duration, delayed mid-sleep time, and decreased sleep efficiency over 6 years. Sleep quality worsened in both groups but a more pronounced change was observed in women. Clinicians should be cautious in determining when to treat declared sleep disturbances in this population.