Associations between longitudinal trajectories of insomnia symptoms and sleep duration with objective physical function in postmenopausal women: The Study of Women's Health across the Nation

Academic Article


  • Study Objectives: Examine the association between trajectories of self-reported insomnia symptoms and sleep duration over 13 years with objective physical function. Methods: We utilized data from 1,627 Study of Women's Health Across the Nation participants, aged 61.9 ± 2.7 years at the end of the 13-year follow-up. Latent class growth models identified trajectories of insomnia symptoms (trouble falling asleep, frequent night-time awakenings, and/or early morning awakening) and sleep duration over 13 years. Physical function tests were performed at the end of the 13-year period: 40-ft walk, 4-m walk, repeated chair stand, grip strength, and balance. Multivariable regression analyses examined each physical function measure according to the insomnia symptom or sleep duration trajectory group. Results: Five insomnia symptom trajectories and two sleep duration trajectories were identified. Women with a consistently high likelihood of insomnia symptoms and women with a decreased likelihood of insomnia symptoms (i.e. improving) had slower gait speed (3.5% slower 40-ft walk [consistently high], 3.7% slower 4-m walk [improving]; each p ≤. 05) than those with a consistently low likelihood of insomnia symptoms. In contrast, women with a steep increase in the likelihood of insomnia symptoms over time and women with persistent insufficient sleep duration had lower odds of having a balance problem (odds ratio [OR] = 0.36 and OR = 0.61, respectively; each p <. 02) compared to those with a consistently low likelihood of insomnia symptoms and those with persistent sufficient sleep duration, respectively. Conclusion: These results suggest that women's sleep during midlife has important implications for maintaining physical function during the transition into older adulthood.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • SLEEP  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kline CE; Colvin AB; Pettee Gabriel K; Karvonen-Gutierrez CA; Cauley JA; Hall MH; Matthews KA; Ruppert KM; Neal-Perry GS; Strotmeyer ES
  • Volume

  • 44
  • Issue

  • 8