Subjective but Not Objective Sleep is Associated with Subsyndromal Anxiety and Depression in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Christine E. Gould, Rosy Karna, Josh Jordan, Makoto Kawai, Rayna Hirst, Nathan Hantke, Sophia Pirog, Isabelle Cotto, Sophia Miryam Schussler-Fiorenza Rose, Sherry A. Beaudreau, Ruth O'Hara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship between subclinical anxiety and depressive symptoms and objective sleep architecture measures and subjective sleep reports in older adults. Methods: Community-dwelling older adults (N = 167) self-rated their current severity of anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, daytime sleepiness, and global sleep quality. Participants received overnight ambulatory polysomnography to assess sleep architecture. Multivariate linear regression models examined associations between anxiety and depressive symptoms and objective and subjective sleep measures. Results: Significant findings emerged for subjective sleep, with higher depression and anxiety scores associated with worse global sleep quality and greater anxiety scores associated with greater daytime sleepiness. No significant associations were observed between subclinical levels of anxiety or depressive symptoms with sleep architecture. Conclusion: Subclinical levels of late-life anxiety and depression have distinct associations with subjective sleep disturbance. Findings implicate subjective measures of sleep quality and daytime sleepiness as stronger trait markers for subthreshold psychiatric symptoms than objective sleep biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-811
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxious
  • daytime sleepiness
  • depressive
  • polysomnography
  • sleep quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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