Main Article Content
The role of social connectedness and physical activity in sleep in Thai older adults and self-care strategies to promote sleep are not well understood. This study compared social connectedness and physical activity between older adults with good and poor sleep quality, as well as explored self-care techniques older adults use to promote sleep. A multimethod design was used. Fifty cognitively intact older adults from one elders club in Hat Yai, Songkhla Province participated in a questionnaire-based face-to-face interview about sleep quality, measured by the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). A focus group with six participants with the highest and lowest PSQI scores was conducted to identify sleep-promoting strategies. Differences in social connectedness and physical activity between good sleepers (32 persons, PSQI ≤ 5) and poor sleepers (18 persons, PSQI >5) were compared with the Mann-Whitney U Test. Content analysis was used for focus group data. The study showed no statistically significant differences in social connectedness and physical activity between good and poor sleepers, although the means for physical activity trended in the expected direction. The focus group data suggested self-care strategies participants used to promote sleep, including non-mind-body/mind-body activities and relaxation/spiritual techniques. Due to the small sample size, the results regarding the associations of sleep quality with social connectedness and physical activity are inconclusive. Thus, future research with larger samples is needed to evaluate the influence of physical activity and social connectedness on sleep quality. Self-care techniques in older adults with sleep problems should be considered with regard to their individual specific needs.
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