Sleep and reported daytime sleepiness in normal subjects: The Sleep Heart Health Study

Joyce A. Walsleben, Vishesh K. Kapur, Anne B. Newman, Eyal Shahar, Richard R. Bootzin, Carl E. Rosenberg, George O'Connor, F. Javier Nieto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: To describe the distribution of nocturnal sleep characteristics and reports of daytime sleepiness in a large well-defined group of healthy adults. Design: The Sleep Heart Health Study is a multicenter study examining sleep and cardiopulmonary parameters through nocturnal polysomnography in adults enrolled in geographically distinct cardiovascular cohorts. Setting: Community setting. Participants: 470 subjects enrolled in the Sleep Heart Health Study (n = 6440) were selected as a 'normative' group based on screening of health conditions and daily habits that could interfere with sleep. Measurements and Results: Home-based nocturnal polysomnography was obtained on all participants and centrally scored for sleep and respiratory parameters. Demographic and health-related data were obtained and updated at the time of the home visit. Sleep efficiency decreased by 1.6% for each 10 years of increased age. Sleep time decreased by 0.1 hours (6.0 minutes) for each 10-year age increase and was longer in women. The arousal index increased by 0.8 for each 10-year increase in age and was lower by 1.4 in women. Women had a lower mean percentage of stage 1 and stage 2 sleep. Mean percentage of slow-wave sleep was higher in women (by 6.7%). Percentage of slow-wave sleep decreased with increased age for men only (by 1.9% for each 10-year age change). Conclusions: Data suggest a clear lessening in the quantity and quality of sleep with age that appears to be more rapid in males compared to females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-298
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender
  • Home-based polysomnography
  • Normal subjects
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Heart Health Study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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