Age and Lateral Sleep Position: A Pilot Study
Susan Gordon, PhD1
Petra G. Buettner, PhD2
Discipline of Physiotherapy, James Cook University
, Townsville, Australia
School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences,
James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
Gordon, S., Buettner, P. Age and lateral sleep position: A pilot study.
Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. Jan 2009,
Volume 7 Number 1.
Previous research, undertaken using a Super 8 camera and
non-continuous data, has reported that with increasing age, people
are more likely to sleep in the right lateral position. It has been
postulated that this is due to age related alterations in
cardiovascular function. This pilot study was undertaken to
determine if collection and analysis of continuous sleep data was a
feasible method for further investigation of this topic and to
determine the sample size required for an adequately powered study.
Increased understanding of age related changes in sleep position may
provide valuable information to improve sleep quality and nursing
care of the elderly person.
Method: Research at the Centre for Sleep Research, University of
South Australia, investigated the association between age and sleep
position. Infra-red illumination and video cameras recorded the
sleep patterns of 12 subjects for two nights.
Videos were examined and the amount of time spent in each sleep
position was calculated in seconds.
In a one-way analysis of variance, sample sizes of 19, 19, and, 19
are necessary from the three age groups whose means are to be
compared. The expected means are 20, 25 and 45 for the three age
groups respectively. The total sample of 57 subjects achieves 82%
power to detect differences among the means versus the alternative
of equal means using an F test with a 0.05 significance level.
The results of this pilot study support
further investigation of the relationship between age and lateral
sleep position preference, and particularly the physiological
parameters which may underpin the adoption of different sleep
positions with increasing age.
The described method is
appropriate and modifications are suggested to further improve
and terms: sleep, lateral position, age