MSU researchers receive grant to study sleep patterns in older care facilities

Michigan
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About 40 percent of Michigan residents do not meet the recommended seven hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Now, MSU researchers are looking into what methods could be implemented to ensure that adults 55 and older specifically are getting the rest they need.

Michigan State University researchers were awarded more than $150,000 to study sleep patterns among these older adults.

Robin Tucker, an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and Dawn Contreras, a health and nutrition specialist with MSU Extension will look for ways to improve sleep duration and quality.

Poor sleep quality increases the odds three-fold of a person entering skilled nursing care where sleeping disturbances can be compounded compared to home environments, according to a 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Tucker and Contreras received the grant from the Michigan Health Endowment fund. They are planning to work with other health professionals at nursing homes and assisted living centers in the Upper Peninsula to implement sleep practices and develop an educational curriculum.

MSU Extension educators will test the educational tools with the staff and residents of participating facilities.

“Sleep has long been overlooked as an important determinant of health,” said Contreras. “This grant provides a great opportunity for us to look at ways to help older adults get the amount and quality of sleep needed to better manage or prevent chronic disease.”

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