Assessing sleep architecture in dementia caregivers at home using an ambulatory polysomnographic system

Irina Fonareva, Alexandra M. Amen, Daniel P. Zajdel, Roger M. Ellingson, Barry S. Oken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Findings from previous research assessing sleep quality in caregivers are inconsistent due to differences in sleep assessment methods. This study evaluated sleep in dementia caregivers using a comprehensive sleep assessment utilizing an ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) device. A total of 20 caregivers and 20 noncaregivers rated their perceived sleep quality, stress, and depressive symptoms; provided samples of cortisol and inflammatory biomarkers; and completed an objective sleep assessment using a portable PSG device. Caregivers reported greater perceived stress than noncaregivers. Next, the groups had different sleep architecture: caregivers spent less proportion of their sleep in restorative sleep stages compared to noncaregivers. Further, levels of C-reactive protein and awakening salivary cortisol were greater in caregivers than in noncaregivers, and these measures were related to sleep quality. Our findings indicate that sleep disruption is a significant concomitant of caregiving and may affect caregiver's health. Sleep quality of caregivers might be a useful target for a clinical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • ambulatory PSG
  • caregiver
  • chronic stress
  • sleep architecture
  • sleep quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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