Poor sleep leads to worse physical function during the daytime in elderly women, according to new research.
The study from the University of Pittsburgh found that women who slept less than six hours per night walked 3.5 per cent more slowly than those who slept six to 6.8 hours.
In terms of performance, the optimum amount of sleep was 6.8 to 7.5 hours.
Insomnia affects almost half of adults 60 and older.
Dr Goldman said: "The results suggest that those women with more disrupted sleep as characterised by shorter sleep duration and longer wake time during the night and those with greater daytime sleepiness as characterised by napping behavior, were at greater risk for poorer neuro-muscular performance and poorer daytime function.
"Women with objective measures of poor sleep had more trouble performing independent activities of daily living. These results held up even after adjustment for multiple confounders and other explanatory variables."
The study appears in the October 1st edition of the journal SLEEP.
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