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      Insomnia with Short Sleep Duration and Mortality: The Penn State Cohort

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      Sleep

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          Because insomnia with objective short sleep duration is associated with increased morbidity, we examined the effects of this insomnia subtype on all-cause mortality. Longitudinal. Sleep laboratory. 1,741 men and women randomly selected from Central Pennsylvania. Participants were studied in the sleep laboratory and were followed-up for 14 years (men) and 10 years (women). "Insomnia" was defined by a complaint of insomnia with duration > or = 1 year. "Normal sleeping" was defined as absence of insomnia. Polysomnographic sleep duration was classified into two categories: the "normal sleep duration group" subjects who slept > or = 6 h and the "short sleep duration group" subjects who slept < 6 h. We adjusted for age, race, education, body mass index, smoking, alcohol, depression, sleep disordered breathing, and sampling weight. The mortality rate was 21% for men and 5% for women. In men, mortality risk was significantly increased in insomniacs who slept less than 6 hours compared to the "normal sleep duration, no insomnia" group, (OR = 4.00, CI 1.14-13.99) after adjusting for diabetes, hypertension, and other confounders. Furthermore, there was a marginally significant trend (P = 0.15) towards higher mortality risk from insomnia and short sleep in patients with diabetes or hypertension (OR = 7.17, 95% CI 1.41-36.62) than in those without these comorbid conditions (OR = 1.45, 95% CI 0.13-16.14). In women, mortality was not associated with insomnia and short sleep duration. Insomnia with objective short sleep duration in men is associated with increased mortality, a risk that has been underestimated.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Mortality associated with sleep duration and insomnia.

          Patients often complain about insufficient sleep or chronic insomnia in the belief that they need 8 hours of sleep. Treatment strategies may be guided by what sleep durations predict optimal survival and whether insomnia might signal mortality risks. In 1982, the Cancer Prevention Study II of the American Cancer Society asked participants about their sleep duration and frequency of insomnia. Cox proportional hazards survival models were computed to determine whether sleep duration or frequency of insomnia was associated with excess mortality up to 1988, controlling simultaneously for demographics, habits, health factors, and use of various medications. Participants were more than 1.1 million men and women from 30 to 102 years of age. The best survival was found among those who slept 7 hours per night. Participants who reported sleeping 8 hours or more experienced significantly increased mortality hazard, as did those who slept 6 hours or less. The increased risk exceeded 15% for those reporting more than 8.5 hours sleep or less than 3.5 or 4.5 hours. In contrast, reports of "insomnia" were not associated with excess mortality hazard. As previously described, prescription sleeping pill use was associated with significantly increased mortality after control for reported sleep durations and insomnia. Patients can be reassured that short sleep and insomnia seem associated with little risk distinct from comorbidities. Slight risks associated with 8 or more hours of sleep and sleeping pill use need further study. Causality is unproven.
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            Sampling Methods for Random Digit Dialing

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              A prospective study of sleep duration and mortality risk in women.

              It is commonly believed that 8 hours of sleep per night is optimal for good health. However, recent studies suggest the risk of death is lower in those sleeping 7 hours. We prospectively examined the association between sleep duration and mortality in women to better understand the effect of sleep duration on health. Prospective observational study. Community-based. Women in the Nurses Health Study who answered a mailed questionnaire asking about sleep duration in 1986. None. Vital status was ascertained through questionnaires, contact with next of kin, and the National Death Index. During the 14 years of this study (1986-2000), 5409 deaths occurred in the 82,969 women who responded to the initial questionnaire. Mortality risk was lowest among nurses reporting 7 hours of sleep per night. After adjusting for age, smoking, alcohol, exercise, depression, snoring, obesity, and history of cancer and cardiovascular disease, sleeping less than 6 hours or more than 7 hours remained associated with an increased risk of death. The relative mortality risk for sleeping 5 hours or less was 1.15 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.29) for 6 hours, 1.01 (95% CI, 0.94-1.08), for 7 hours, 1.00 (reference group), for 8 hours, 1.12 (95% CI, 1.05-1.20), and for 9 or more hours 1.42 (95% CI, 1.27-1.58). These results confirm previous findings that mortality risk in women is lowest among those sleeping 6 to 7 hours. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms by which short and long sleep times can affect health.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sleep
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                1550-9109
                0161-8105
                September 2010
                September 01 2010
                September 2010
                September 01 2010
                : 33
                : 9
                : 1159-1164
                Article
                10.1093/sleep/33.9.1159
                2938855
                20857861
                © 2010

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