Higher quality sleep associated with higher wellbeing

Getting a good night’s sleep may improve your wellbeing.

Question

What is the relationship between sleep quality and psychological wellbeing?

What was done?

736 community-dwelling adults aged (58-72) completed questionnaires on their quality of sleep . A number of psychological variables were also measured, e.g. wellbeing and mood.

What was found?

Higher quality sleep was associated with higher levels of wellbeing and lower levels of distress.

How does this affect me?

Ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep may improve your overall wellbeing.

Article Abstract
Objective

To discover whether positive affect and purpose in life (eudaimonic well-being) are associated with good sleep independently of health problems and socioeconomic status, and to evaluate their role in mediating the influence of psychosocial risk factors on poor sleep.
Methods

A cross-sectional study was carried out with 736 men and women aged 58–72 years, with positive affect assessed by aggregating ecological momentary samples. Sleep problems were assessed with the Jenkins Sleep Problems Scale, and psychosocial risk factors were measured by standardized questionnaires.
Results

Both positive affect and eudaimonic well-being were inversely associated with sleep problems after adjustment for age, gender, household income, and self-rated health (P<.001). Negative psychosocial factors including financial strain, social isolation, low emotional support, negative social interactions, and psychological distress were also related to reported sleep problems. The strength of these associations was reduced by 20–73% when positive affect and eudaimonic well-being were taken into account, suggesting that effects were partly mediated by positive psychological states.
Conclusions

These results suggest that both positive affect and eudaimonic well-being are directly associated with good sleep and may buffer the impact of psychosocial risk factors. The relationships are likely to be bidirectional, with disturbed sleep engendering lower positive affect and reduced psychological well-being, and positive psychological states promoting better sleep.

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Exercise improves depressive symptoms in older adults

Taking exercise is a safe and effective way to reduce depression.

Question

What is the relationship between exercise and symptoms of depression?

What was done?

A review of 16 studies (which included 1487 older adults) that looked at the relationship between exercise and depression, was conducted. Depression symptoms in groups that took exercise were compared with groups that did not.

What was found?

Groups that took exercise experienced reduced depression symptoms.

How does this affect me?

Exercising may improve your physical health as well as reduce symptoms of depression.

Article Abstract

Late-life depression is a growing public health concern. Exercise may be of added value but the literature remains equivocal. We conducted a systematic overview of meta-analyses and an exploratory pooled analysis of previous meta-analyses to determine the effect of exercise on depression in older adults. Two independent researchers searched Pubmed, CINAHL, Cochrane Plus, PsycArticles, and PsycInfo for meta-analyses on exercise in late-life depression. Methodological quality was assessed using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) Instrument. We pooled effect sizes from previous meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials to determine the effect of exercise on depression in older adults. The systematic review yielded 3 meta-analyses. In total, 16 unique cohorts of 1487 participants were included. The quality of the three included meta-analyses was considered as “moderate” according to AMSTAR scores. No serious adverse events were reported. Compared to controls (n=583), those exercising (n=541) significantly reduced depressive symptoms. Our umbrella review indicates that exercise is safe and efficacious in reducing depressive symptoms in older people. Since exercise has many other known health benefits, it should be considered as a core intervention in the multidisciplinary treatment of older adults experiencing depression.

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Greater fruit and vegetable intake associated with reduced risk of frailty

Eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of becoming physically frail.

Question

What is the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and frailty?

What was done?

2926 older adults from three studies completed questionnaires on their fruit and vegetable consumption. Participants level of physical frailty was also measured.

What was found?

Consuming more fruits and vegetables was associated with lower rates of of developing symptoms of physical frailty.

How does this affect me?

Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet may have positive effects for physical health.

Article Abstract

Background: Consuming fruit and vegetables (FVs) may protect against frailty, but to our knowledge no study has yet assessed their prospective dose-response relation.

Objective: We sought to examine the dose-response association between FV consumption and the risk of frailty in older adults.

Design: Data were taken from 3 independent cohorts of community-dwelling older adults: the Seniors-ENRICA (Study on Nutrition and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Spain) cohort (n = 1872), Three-City (3C) Bordeaux cohort (n = 581), and integrated multidisciplinary approach cohort (n = 473). Baseline food consumption was assessed with a validated computerized diet history (Seniors-ENRICA) or with a food-frequency questionnaire (3C Bordeaux and AMI). In all cohorts, incident frailty was assessed with the use of the Fried criteria. Results across cohorts were pooled with the use of a random-effects model.

Results: During a mean 2.5-y follow-up, 300 incident frailty cases occurred. Fully adjusted models showed that the pooled ORs (95% CIs) of incident frailty comparing participants who consumed 1, 2, or ≥3 portions of fruit/d to those with no consumption were, respectively, 0.59 (0.27, 0.90), 0.58 (0.29, 0.86), and 0.48 (0.20, 0.75), with a P-trend of 0.04. The corresponding values for vegetables were 0.69 (0.42, 0.97), 0.56 (0.35, 0.77), and 0.52 (0.13, 0.92), with a P-trend < 0.01. When FVs were analyzed together, the pooled ORs (95% CIs) of incident frailty were 0.41 (0.21, 0.60), 0.47 (0.25, 0.68), 0.36 (0.18, 0.53), and 0.31 (0.13, 0.48), with a P-trend < 0.01 for participants who consumed 2, 3, 4, or ≥5 portions/d, respectively, compared with those who consumed ≤1 portion/d. An inverse dose-response relation was also found between the baseline consumption of fruit and risk of exhaustion, low physical activity, and slow walking speed, whereas the consumption of vegetables was associated with a decreased risk of exhaustion and unintentional weight loss.

Conclusions: Among community-dwelling older adults, FV consumption was associated with a lower short-term risk of frailty in a dose-response manner, and the strongest association was obtained with 3 portions of fruit/d and 2 portions of vegetables/d.

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Larger social networks associated with higher wellbeing

Spending time with more friends and family may improve your wellbeing .

Question

What is the relationship between the size of one’s social network and their psychological wellbeing?

What was done?

314 community-dwelling older adults (aged 61-71) completed questionnaires asking them to list the names of persons they often contact and are important to them. The number of names was regarded as the size of one’s social network. Participants were also asked about their wellbeing and the level social support they felt they received.

What was found?

Larger social networks were assocated with higher levels of wellbeing.

How does this affect me?

Increasing your social network may improve your psychological wellbeing.

Article Abstract

The current study examined the impact of size of social network on subjective well-being of elderly, mainly focused on confirmation of the mediator role of perceived social support. The results revealed that both size of social network and perceived social support were significantly correlated with subjective well-being. Structural equation modeling indicated that perceived social support partially mediated size of social network to subjective well-being. The final model also revealed significant both paths from size of social network to subjective well-being through perceived social support. The findings extended prior researches and provided valuable evidence on how to promote mental health of the elderly.

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Listening to music associated with psychological wellbeing

Turning on your favorite songs may improve your wellbeing .

Question

What is the relationship between listening to music and psychological wellbeing?

What was done?

500 community-dwelling older adults completed questionnaires on their uses of music in everyday life. A number of psychological variables were also measured, e.g. wellbeing, life satisfaction.

What was found?

Listening to music was a common activity that was associated with positive emotions.

How does this affect me?

Putting on your favorite music may increase your wellbeing and improve your mood.

Article Abstract

A questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 500 community living older adults in Sweden (aged 65–75 years). The questionnaire assessed uses of music in everyday life: frequency of listening, situations where music is encountered, emotional responses to music, and motives for listening (i.e., listening strategies). Also, different facets of psychological well-being (e.g., affective well-being, life satisfaction, and eudaimonic well-being) and selected background variables (e.g., education level, health status, activity level, and Big-5 personality characteristics) were assessed. Results showed that listening to music is a common leisure activity encountered in many everyday situations, and that listening to music is a frequent source of positive emotions for older adults. Also, the participants reported using a variety of listening strategies related to emotional functions (e.g., pleasure, mood regulation, and relaxation) and issues of identity, belonging, and agency. The associations between listening strategies and well-being were explored through correlation and multiple regression analyses where the influence of background variables was controlled for. Health status and personality were the most important predictors of well-being, but some listening strategies were also significantly associated with psychological well-being. The results give important insights into older adults’ uses of music in everyday life and give clues regarding possible relationships between musical activities and well-being.

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Wellbeing benefits associated with travel experiences

Taking a vacation may improve your health and wellness .

Question

Are travel experiences associated with better mental and physical health outcomes?

What was done?

A review of the existing literature on travelling and wellbeing was conducted.

What was found?

A positive relationship between travel experience and better perceived health and wellness was identified. These effects were gradually reduced over time.

How does this affect me?

Going on vacation may boost your overall wellbeing.

Article Abstract

Tourism has been widely regarded as a mentally and physically healthy pursuit. Thus, recent studies in tourism have paid more attention to the benefits of travel experiences. However, most studies pertaining to the topic have been conducted in the fields of organizational behavior and health science. Therefore, this research attempts to provide a comprehensive review of the literature on the health and wellness benefits of travel. The results revealed that positive effects of travel experiences on perceived health and wellness have been demonstrated by multiple studies. These benefits have been found to gradually diminish after a vacation. It was also found that there is a lack of research demonstrating the positive effect of travel experiences on physical health. Based on these findings, directions for future research are addressed.

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Pet therapy associated with improved heart health in older adults

Therapy that includes pet visitation may reduce your blood pressure.

Question

What are the effects of pet visitation therapy on cardiovascular health?

What was done?

28 participants with an average age of 83 years were visited twice: once by a volunteer-handler canine team then by a volunteer with no canine. Blood pressure and heart rate were measured before and after the visits.

What was found?

Pet therapy was associated with significant decreases in blood pressure and heart rate.

How does this affect me?

Participating in a pet therapy program may improve your cardiovascular health.

Article Abstract

Pet therapy can be therapeutic for older adults living in the community. A crossover design was used to examine changes in blood pressure and heart rate before and after a pet therapy visit versus a volunteer-only visit in 28 community dwelling older adults. Relationships among stress, pet attitude, social support, and health status were also examined. Study findings supported that pet therapy significantly decreased blood pressure and heart rate. Ultimately, the findings supported the notion that community health nurses should consider developing and implementing pet therapy programs in the communities they serve. Further implications for community health nurses are discussed.

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