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Sleep Disorders
Volume 2014, Article ID 595208, 11 pages
Research Article

Association between Sleep Disturbances and Leisure Activities in the Elderly: A Comparison between Men and Women

1School of Health Science, Blekinge Institute of Technology, 371 79 Karlskrona, Sweden
2Department of Health Sciences, Lund University, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
3Department of Care Science, Malmö University, 205 06 Malmö, Sweden
4Blekinge Centre of Competence, 371 81 Karlskrona, Sweden

Received 12 September 2013; Accepted 19 October 2013; Published 19 January 2014

Academic Editor: Giora Pillar

Copyright © 2014 Amanda Hellström et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It has been suggested that physical or social activity is associated with fewer sleep disturbances among elderly people. Women report more sleep disturbances than men, which could indicate a variation in activity patterns between the genders. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between sleep disturbances and leisure activities in men and women ( ) aged ≥60 years in a Swedish population. Sleep disturbances were measured using eight dichotomous questions and seventeen variables, covering a wide range of leisure activities. Few leisure activities were found to be associated with sleep disturbances and their importance decreased when the models were adjusted for confounders and gender interactions. After clustering the leisure activities and investigating individual activities, sociointellectual activities were shown to be significant for sleep. However, following adjustment for confounders and gender interactions, home maintenance was the only activity significant for sleep. Being a female increased the effect of home maintenance. Besides those leisure activities, poor/fair self-rated health (OR 7.50, CI: 4.27–11.81) and being female (OR 4.86, CI: 2.75–8.61) were found to have the highest association with poor sleep. Leisure activities pursued by elderly people should focus on activities of a sociointellectual nature, especially among women, to promote sleep.