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SLEEP 2008: Marital Quality Affects Women's Sleep

Researchers report lower risk of multiple sleep problems in happily married white women

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Among white women, a happy marriage is associated with a lower risk of multiple sleep problems, according to research presented this week at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, held in Baltimore.

Wendy M. Troxel, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues studied 2,148 married women (median age 45.9), including 1,085 white women, 439 black women, 198 Hispanic women, 199 Chinese women and 227 Japanese women.

The researchers found that higher levels of marital happiness were associated with a significantly lower risk of multiple sleep complaints only in white women (odds ratio, 0.85). But their analysis of individual sleep components also showed that higher levels of marital happiness were associated with a lower risk of difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, early morning awakenings and restless sleep quality.

"Assessing relationship quality may yield important information regarding the etiology or maintenance of sleep problems in midlife women," the authors conclude.

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