Gender Differences in Real-Home Sleep of Young and Older Couples
Author(s)Butt, Maryam; Quan, Stuart F.; Pentland, Alex; Khayal, Inas
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Objectives: To understand gender differences in sleep quality, architecture and duration of young healthy couples in comparison to older couples in their natural sleep environment. Design: Sleep was monitored in a naturalistic setting using a headband sleep monitoring device over a period of two weeks for young couples and home polysomnography for the older couples. Participants: Ten heterosexual young couples (male mean age: 28.2 1.0[SD] years /female mean age: 26.8 0.9 years) and 14 older couples (male mean age: 59.3+ 9.6 years/female mean age: 58.8+ 9.1 years). Measurements and results: In the young couples, total sleep time (395+66 vs. 367+54 min., p<0.05), sleep efficiency (97.0+3.0 vs. 91.1+7.9, p<0.001), and % REM (31.1+4.8 vs. 23.6+5.5, p<0.001) in males was higher than in females. In contrast, % light sleep (51.7+7.1 vs. 59.7+6.7, p<0.001) and number of arousals (2.9+1.9 vs. 5.3+1.9, p<0.001) were lower. These differences persisted after controlling for evening mood and various evening pre-sleep activities. In the older couples, there were no differences between genders. In addition, children in the household adversely impacted sleep. Conclusions: In couples recorded in the home, young males slept longer and had better sleep quality than young females. This difference appears to dissipate with age. In-home assessment of couples can aid in understanding of gender differences in sleep and how they are affected by age and social environment.
Southwest Journal of Pulmonary and Critical Care
Butt, M., Quan, S. F., Pentland, A. S., & Khayal, I. (2015). Gender differences in real-home sleep of young and older couples. Southwest journal of pulmonary & critical care, 10(5), 289.
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