Assessing Sleep Quality in Older Adults: A Comparison of Three Measurement Approaches

Amy S. Berkley, Patricia A. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Discrepancies between subjective and objective sleep measures have been reported for some time; however, it is critical to consider the implications of inaccurate or incomplete sleep assessment for frail older adults who are struggling to maintain independence. To compare sleep assessment methods, we collected objective sleep measurements, subjective measures via self-report sleep surveys, and qualitative data through semi-structured audio-recorded interviews, from five older adults who self-reported sleep problems while living in a retirement community in the southwestern US. Participants’ objective sleep and qualitative narratives were congruent, but self-report measures failed to capture several unique sleep problems identified in the sample. A sleep assessment tool specifically designed to measure older people's sleep experiences could provide more accurate and sensitive data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-64
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • assessment
  • insomnia
  • measurement
  • older adults
  • sleep
  • sleep disturbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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