The Association between Subjective Memory Complaints and Sleep within Older African American Adults.


Journal Article

Objective:The purpose of the current study is to examine the association between subjective memory complaints and sleep (quantity and quality) in African American older adults. Method:Participants from the Baltimore Study of Black Aging (BSBA; n = 351; mean age = 71.99) completed a self-report sleep scale, subjective memory complaint scale, global cognitive status measure, and demographic questionnaire. Results:Worse overall sleep quality was significantly associated with subjective reports of difficulty recalling the placement of objects, recalling specific facts from reading materials, and worse memory currently compared to the past. Specific sleep parameters (e.g., longer sleep latency and shorter sleep duration) were associated with negative appraisals of participants' ability to do specific tasks involving memory (e.g., difficulty recalling placement of objects). Participants classified as poor sleepers (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI] total score > 5) were more likely to report worse memory now compared to the past than participants classified as good sleepers (PSQI total score ≤ 5). Conclusions:Evaluation of sleep may be warranted when older adults, particularly African Americans, communicate concerns regarding their memory. Insufficient sleep may be a useful marker of acute daytime dysfunction and, perhaps, cognitive decline. Given memory problems are the hallmark of dementia, our findings support further evaluation of whether poor sleep can aid in the diagnosis of cognitive impairment.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Gamaldo, AA; Wright, RS; Aiken-Morgan, AT; Allaire, JC; Thorpe, RJ; Whitfield, KE

Published Date

  • January 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 74 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 202 - 211

PubMed ID

  • 28633326

Pubmed Central ID

  • 28633326

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1758-5368

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1079-5014

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/geronb/gbx069


  • eng