TitleIndividuals' perceptions of social support from family and friends are associated with lower risk of sleep complaints and short sleep duration.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsMesas, AE, Peppard, PE, Hale, L, Friedman, EM, F. Nieto, J, Hagen, EW
JournalSleep Health
Date Published11/2019

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether individuals' perceptions of social support (SS) from partners, other family members, and friends are associated with risk of sleep complaints and short sleep duration.

METHODS: A cross-sectional and prospective study with 1,688 community dwelling adults from the Retirement and Sleep Trajectories study. Four annual, self-administered questionnaires were mailed to participants in the year 2010-2014. Self-reports of individuals' perceptions of SS were obtained at the baseline survey. Sleep quality and duration were self-reported on each of the four surveys over the follow-up. Associations were examined with mixed-effect models, controlling for confounders.

RESULTS: In fully adjusted analyses, compared with those reporting low SS from their partner, the risk of reporting more than 1 sleep symptom was significantly lower among those with intermediate (relative risk, RR = 0.68; 95% confidence interval, CI = 0.53-0.87) and high SS (RR = 0.61; 95% CI=0.48-0.77). Similarly, relative to those with low SS, those reporting high SS from family (RR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.57-0.94) and friends (RR = 0.73; 95% CI = 0.58-0.92) had lower risk of having more than 1 sleep symptom. Compared with those with low, intermediate (RR = 0.70; 95% CI = 0.52-0.96), and high SS (RR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.48-0.84) from partners, intermediate (RR = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.59-0.97) and high SS (RR = 0.69; 95% CI = 0.51-0.92) from family and high SS (RR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.56-0.99) from friends were associated with lower risk of short sleep (≤6 h).

CONCLUSION: The perception of higher SS from relatives and friends is independently associated with lower risk of poor sleep quality and short sleep duration. Future research and intervention studies should test whether strengthening social relationships can positively effect sleep health.

Alternate JournalSleep Health
PubMed ID31740375