The meanings of sleep : stories from older women in care

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Davis, Brooke Maree, Moore, Bernadette and Bruck, Dorothy (2007) The meanings of sleep : stories from older women in care. Sociological Research Online, 12 (5). ISSN 1360-7804


This paper analyses data from a two phase project which utilizes a mixed methods design to investigate the construct of 'good ' and 'poor' sleep quality amongst older women in Australian residential care. Phase one of the study demonstrates the lack of congruence between quantitative measures of sleep behaviour and self categorizations by the participants as 'good' or 'poor' sleepers. This lack of congruence is explored in the second phase of the project where semi structured interviews investigate the process by which self-catergorizations emerge. Interview data ratifies the findings of phase one identifying that the process of self catergorization is not necessarily linked to sleep behaviours, as many of these phenomena such as nocturnal disruption, or early morning awakenings were similiarly described by self catergorized 'good' and 'poor' sleepers. Rather, it appears that these women, through the process of upward and downward social comparison, construct ideas about 'normal' sleep, and it is this normative definition, rather than the slepp phenomena experienced, that the individual uses to provide a benchmark for their self-catergorization of sleep quality.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 380000 Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences
Historical > RFCD Classification > 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords ResPubID13453. women, aged-care, subjective sleep quality, sleep behaviour, self-categorization, social comparion, temporal comparison
Citations in Scopus 6 - View on Scopus
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