Self-reported long sleep in older adults is closely related to objective time in bed

Christopher E. Kline, Mark R. Zielinski, Tina M. Devlin, Daniel F. Kripke, Richard K. Bogan, Shawn D. Youngstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Although self-reported long sleep is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, little is known about the objective sleep patterns and daytime functioning of long sleepers, particularly those aged ≥50 years. Our primary aim was to compare the objective and subjective sleep patterns of a sample (n= 35) of middle- to older-aged adults who reported sleeping ≥8.5 h per night. A secondary aim was to characterize the mood and functioning of the sample. Over a 2-week period, sleep was recorded via actigraphy and a daily diary. Sleepiness was assessed daily. At the conclusion of the 2-week period, daytime sleepiness, mood, and quality of life were assessed. Measures of sleep and functioning were compared with available representative data. In the sample, actigraphic total sleep time (TST; 7.35 ± 0.97 h) was approximately 60 min greater than age-related representative values but substantially less than diary-assessed TST (8.59 ± 0.74 h) and survey-assessed TST (8.92 ± 0.78 h). Survey and diary-based subjective TST assessments agreed more closely with actigraphic time in bed (TIB; 9.11 ± 0.72 h) than TST, and correlations between subjective TST and actigraphic TIB were similar to those between subjective and actigraphic TST. Measures of mood, sleepiness, and daytime functioning were similar to population-representative values. These results suggest that, among middle- to older-aged adults, self-reported long sleep is primarily indicative of long TIB, but it also represents long objective sleep duration, particularly in comparison to age-matched data. Findings of little functional impairment corroborated previous descriptions of older long sleepers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-51
Number of pages10
JournalSleep and Biological Rhythms
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Actigraphy
  • Aged
  • Long sleeper
  • Middle-aged
  • Time in bed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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