Elderly people who sleep during the day throughout periods of rehabilitation risk delaying their recovery, according to the results of a new study described in the September edition of the US journal 'Sleep'. The investigation , involving 245 participants with an average age of 80 who were in 'post-acute' recovery from conditions such as orthopedic, heart or stroke problems, found that improving nighttime sleeping patterns promoted functional recovery, while daytime sleeping directly led to a longer rehabilitation of as much as three months in some cases.
"We were surprised that the results suggested it was excessive daytime sleeping in the rehabilitation facility which was associated with less improvement in their physical functioning. We were also surprised by how long this effect lasted," said Cathy A. Alessi MD, from the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, who was the principal investigator on the study.
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