Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Does loneliness mediate the stress-sleep quality relation? The Hordaland Health Study

  • Mette M. Aanes (a1), Jørn Hetland (a1), Ståle Pallesen (a1) (a2) and Maurice B. Mittelmark (a1)

Abstract

Background: Sleep problems are common in the general population. A strong association between stress due to inadequate social relationships or loneliness and sleep problems has been found. This paper aims to investigate stress in close social relationships in relation to disrupted sleep patterns in middle-aged and older adults. In addition, in exploring the underlying processes involved in poor social interactions, loneliness is assumed to be a mediator in the stress-sleep quality relation.

Methods: Data from a community sample of 7074 Norwegian middle-aged and older adults in the Hordaland Health Study (HUSK) were used to examine the mediating role of loneliness.

Results: A significant association between interpersonal stress and both nocturnal sleep problems and daytime sleepiness was found in both age groups. This relation was mediated by loneliness (indirect path) as well as effected by a direct path (RMSEA = 0.051; CFI = 0.93). The size of the indirect effect varied with age. Nocturnal sleep problems were fully mediated by loneliness in the older group, while 74% of the total effect was mediated through loneliness in the middle-aged group. For daytime sleepiness, a partial mediation of 36% and 40% was observed for the two groups respectively.

Conclusions: The mediation effects found in this study indicate that the wider social aspects of an individual's life should be taken into account when planning interventions for improving sleep quality in the elderly.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Mette M. Aanes, Research Centre for Health Promotion, Faculty of Psychology, Christiesgt. 13, Bergen 5015, Norway. Phone: +47 55 58 32 40; Fax: +47 55 58 99 69. Email: Mette.Aanes@psyhp.uib.no.

References

Hide All
Aanes, M. M., Mittelmark, M. B. and Hetland, J. (2010). Interpersonal stress and poor health: the mediating role of loneliness. Journal of European Psychologist, 15, 311.
Åkerstedt, T. (2006). Psychological stress and impaired sleep. Scandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health, 32, 493501.
Åkerstedt, T., Fredlund, P., Gillberg, M. and Jansson, B. (2002). Work load and work hours in relation to disturbed sleep and fatigue in large representative sample. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 53, 585588.
Åkerstedt, T., Kecklund, G. and Axelsson, J. (2007). Impaired sleep after bedtime stress and worries. Biological Psychology, 76, 170173.
Altena, E., Van Der Werf, Y. D., Strijers, R. L. M. and van Someren, E. J. W. (2008). Sleep loss affects vigilance: effects of chronic insomnia and sleep therapy. Journal of Sleep Research, 17, 335343.
Baumeister, R. F. and Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachment as a fundamental human-motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497529.
Bentler, P. M. (1992). EQS Structural Equations Program Manual. Los Angeles, CA: BMDP Statistical Software.
Blunch, N. J. (2008). Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling: Using SPSS and Amos. California: SAGE Publications Inc.
Borkovec, T. D., Robinson, E., Pruzinsky, T. and Dupree, J. A. (1983). Preliminary exploration of worry: some characteristics and processes. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 23, 481482.
Brown, M. W. and Cudeck, R. (1993). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. In Bollen, K. A. and Long, J. S. (eds.), Testing Structural Equation Models(pp. 445455). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Cacioppo, J. T. and Hawkley, L. C. (2003). Social isolation and health, with emphasis on underlying mechanisms. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 46, 539552.
Cacioppo, J. T. and Patrick, W. (2009). Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Cacioppo, J. T. et al. (2002). Do lonely days invade the nights? Potential social modulation of sleep efficacy. Psychological Science, 30, 384387.
Cacioppo, J. T., Fowler, J. H. and Christakis, N. A. (2009). Alone in the crowd: the structure and spread of loneliness in a large social network. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 977991. doi: 10.1037/90016076.
Carstensen, L.L., Pasupahti, M., Mayr, U. and Nesselroade, J. (2000). Emotional experiences in everyday life across the life span. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 644655.
Edinger, J. D., Means, M. K., Carney, C. E. and Krystal, A. D. (2008). Psychomotor performance deficits and their relation to prior nights’ sleep among individuals with primary insomnia. Sleep, 31, 599607.
Flanders, J. P. (1982). A general systems approach to loneliness. In Peplau, L. A. and Perlman, D. (eds.). Loneliness: A Sourcebook of Current Theory, Research and Therapy. (pp. 166182). New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Fung, H. H., Carstensen, L. L. and Lang, F. R. (2001). Age-related patterns in social networks among European Americans and African Americans: implications for soci emotional selectivity across the life span. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 52, 185206.
Goldman, S. E. et al. (2007). Poor sleep is associated with poorer physical performance and greater functional limitations in older women. Sleep, 30, 13171324.
Hall, M. et al. (2000). Symptoms of stress and depression as correlates of sleep in primary insomnia. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62, 227230.
Harvey, A. G., Tang, N. K. and Browning, L. (2005). Cognitive approaches to insomnia. Clinical Psychology Review, 25, 593611.
Hawkley, L. C. and Cacioppo, J. T. (2007). Aging and loneliness: downhill quickly? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16, 187191.
Hawkley, L. C., Preacher, J. K. and Cacioppo, J. T. (2010). Loneliness impairs daytime functioning but not sleep duration. Health Psychology, 29, 124129.
Kelly, E. W. (2003). Worry content associated with decreased sleep-length among college students: sleep deprivation leads to increased worrying. College Student Journal, 37, 9395.
Kraft, P. and Loeb, M. (1997). Sogn og Fjordane prosjektet. Oslo: National Institute of Public Health.
Mellor, D., Stokes, M., Firth, L., Hayashi, Y. and Cummins, R. (2008). Need for belonging, relationship satisfaction, loneliness, and life satisfaction. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 213218.
Mittelmark, M. B, Aaro, L. E., Henriksen, S. G., Siqveland, J. and Torsheim, T. (2004). Chronic interpersonal stress in the community and associations with psychological distress: a social psychology perspective. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 6, 416.
Newsom, J. T., Mahan, T. L., Rook, K. S. and Krause, N. (2008). Stable negative social exchanges and health. Health Psychology, 27, 7886.
Pennebaker, J. W. (1982). The Psychology of Symptoms. New York: Springer.
Rook, K. S. (2000). The evolution of social relationships in later adulthood. In Qualls, S. and Abeles, N. (eds.), Psychology and the Aging Revolution (pp. 173191). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Roth, P. L. (1994). Missing data: a conceptual review for applied psychologists. Personnel Psychology, 47, 537561.
Ryff, C. D., Singer, B. H. and Dienberg Lover, G. (2004). Positive health: connecting well-being with biology. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 359, 13831394.
Sorkin, D. H. and Rook, K. S. (2006). Dealing with negative social exchanges in later life: Coping responses, goals, and effectiveness. Psychology and Aging, 21, 715725.
Tang, N. K. Y. and Harvey, A. G. (2004). Effects of cognitive arousal and physiological arousal on sleep perception, Sleep, 27, 6978.

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed