To determine the association of actigraphic sleep duration and fragmentation with cognition in community-dwelling older women.Methods
We studied 782 women (mean age = 87.4) of varied cognitive status from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures who completed wrist actigraphy and the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MS), California Verbal Learning Test-II-Short Form, digit span, verbal fluency tests, and the Trailmaking Test, Part B (Trails B). Total sleep time (TST) and wake after sleep onset (WASO) tertiles were our primary predictors.Results
There were few significant associations in adjusted analyses. Compared to women with intermediate TST (mean = 430.1 minutes), those with the longest (508.7 minutes) had significantly poorer performance on the 3MS and phonemic and semantic fluency. Compared to women with the least WASO (31.5 minutes), those in the middle tertile (61.5 minutes) had significantly poorer delayed recall and those in the middle tertile and highest tertile (126.2 minutes) had poorer total recall and semantic fluency. We observed significant adjusted associations of TST with impaired 3MS performance and of WASO with impaired delayed recall, semantic fluency, and digit span. After excluding participants with adjudicated dementia diagnoses or indeterminate cognitive status, some adjusted associations remained but decreased in magnitude, others became nonsignificant, and a new association emerged.Conclusions
In community-dwelling older women, longer objectively measured sleep duration and greater sleep fragmentation are associated with poorer performance and impairment in only a subset of cognitive domains. Some of these associations may be driven by women with dementia in whom disturbed sleep and cognitive performance share an underlying neuropathological basis.