Sleep Deprivation May Exacerbate Frailty’s Effects on Mental Health in Older Adults | Nutrition Fit

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Summary: As frailty worsened in older people, symptoms of depression increased. This was exacerbated by shortened sleep duration.

Source: Wiley

Previous studies have linked sleep deprivation and frailty with depression. A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that examined their combined effect suggests that short sleep intensifies the impacts of frailty on depressive symptoms.

Among 5,026 community-dwelling older adults in China, participants who were frail at the start of the study were more likely to later develop depressive symptoms. Also, those who experienced worsening frailty throughout the study tended to develop higher levels of depression. Short sleep exacerbated these effects.

The findings suggest that interventions that target sleep disturbances–such as exercise and mindfulness-based stress reduction–might help alleviate the negative effects of frailty on psychological well-being.

This shows an older lady walking in a park with a cane
Also, those who experienced worsening frailty throughout the study tended to develop higher levels of depression. Short sleep exacerbated these effects. Image is in the public domain

“We hope our research findings raise people’s awareness of the combined effect of frailty and sleep on older adults’ mental health, and provide implications for interventions to improve sleep quality for prefrail and frail older adults,” said co-author Xinyi Zhao, PhD, of Peking University, in Beijing.

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About this sleep, aging and mental health research news

Source: Wiley
Contact: Press Office – Wiley
Image: The image is in the public domain

Original Research: The study will appear in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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