Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) responses are modulated by total sleep time and wake after sleep onset in healthy older adults

PloS one

PLoS One. 2022 Jun 24;17(6):e0270095. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0270095. eCollection 2022.


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the objective sleep influencers behind older adult responses to subjective sleep measures, in this case, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Based on previous literature, we hypothesized that SE would be associated with PSQI reported sleep disruption. Furthermore, because SOL increases progressively with age and it tends to be easily remembered by the patients, we also expected it to be one of the main predictors of the perceived sleep quality in the elderly.

METHODS: We studied 32 cognitively healthy community-dwelling older adults (age 74 ± 0.3 years) who completed an at-home sleep assessment (Zeo, Inc.) and the PSQI. Linear mixed models were used to analyze the association of the objective sleep parameters (measured by the Zeo) with the PSQI total score and sub-scores, adjusting for age, gender, years of education and likelihood of sleep apnea.

RESULTS: Objective sleep parameters did not show any association with the PSQI total score. We found that objective measures of Wake after sleep onset (WASO, % and min) were positively associated with the PSQI sleep disturbance component, while SE and Total Sleep Time (TST) were negatively associated with PSQI sleep disturbance. Lastly, objective SE was positively associated with PSQI SE.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings showed that WASO, SE and TST, are associated with PSQI sleep disturbance, where the greater WASO, overall lower SE and less TST, were associated with increased subjective report of sleep disturbance. As expected, subjective (PSQI) and objective measures of SE were related. However, PSQI total score did not relate to any of the objective measures. These results suggest that by focusing on the PSQI total score we may miss the insight this easily administered self-report tool can provide. If interpreted in the right way, the PSQI can provide further insight into cognitively healthy older adults that have the likelihood of objective sleep disturbance.

PMID:35749529 | PMC:PMC9232154 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0270095


Jennifer Zitser
Isabel Elaine Allen
Neus Falgàs
Michael M Le
Thomas C Neylan
Joel H Kramer
Christine M Walsh