Greater Night-to-Night Variability in Sleep Discrepancy Among Older Adults with a Sleep Complaint Compared to Noncomplaining Older Adults

Document Type


Publication Date


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Research in younger adults suggests sleep discrepancy (objective/subjective measurement difference) is a consistent pattern that primarily occurs within individuals with insomnia. To examine whether older adults exhibit a similar pattern, this study compared night-to-night inconsistency in sleep discrepancy between older adults with and without sleep complaints. Older adults (N = 103; mean age = 72.81, SD = 7.12) wore an Actiwatch-L® (24 hr per day) and concurrently completed sleep diaries for 14 days. Sleep discrepancy = diary (sleep onset latency [SOL] or wake [time] after sleep onset [WASO]) − actigraphy (SOL or WASO). Both groups exhibited sleep discrepancy, but complainers exhibited significantly more night-to-night variability. Sleep discrepancy was a variable behavior that was not limited to insomnia, but instead manifested by degree throughout our older sample. Greater attention to variability in sleep research and clinical practice is warranted.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Behavioral Sleep Medicine, v. 11, issue 2, p. 76-90