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Sleep, loneliness, and their impact on aspects of brain health: Findings from TILDA

McHugh Power, Joanna E., Kee, Frank, Lawlor, Brian A. and Kenny, Rose Ann (2018) Sleep, loneliness, and their impact on aspects of brain health: Findings from TILDA. In: 32nd Annual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society, 21st-25th August 2018, NUI Galway, Galway, Ireland. (Submitted)

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Abstract

Background: Previous research indicates that loneliness is associated with declines in semantic memory, which is an early indicator of Alzheimer‘s disease. Evidence also exists for an impact of loneliness on sleep such that individuals who are lonely experience more restless sleep. We wanted to explore whether restless sleep would mediate the association between loneliness and semantic memory.

Methods: Data pertaining to 8,163 participants in the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) across three waves of data collection were analysed using a path analysis framework. A mediation model (based on the product of coefficients method) was specified, with loneliness (scores on the 5-item UCLA loneliness scale) as the predictor, self-reported restless sleep as the mediator, and semantic memory (scores on a task of verbal fluency) as the outcome. Age, sex, and education were included as covariates. A maximum likelihood estimator was used.

Results: Results indicated good model fit (☐ 29 = 1215.21, p<0.001; CFI = 0.91, TLI = 0.74, RMSEA = 0.08, SRMR = 0.03). Loneliness predicted animal naming (beta = -0.18, p<0.001) as did restless sleep (beta = 0.17, p<0.05), and loneliness also predicted restless sleep (beta = 0.08, p<0.001). There was a mediation effect evident (beta = 0.005, p<0.05).

Conclusion: Results suggest that restless sleep has a mediating role in the association between loneliness and semantic memory. Interventions aimed at preventing Alzheimer‘s disease and cognitive decline in later life should consider intervening on loneliness and sleep quality in order to improve outcomes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognitive psychology
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Related URLs:
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2018 09:41
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2018 09:43
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/3257

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