The age differences of sleep disruption on mood states and memory performance

Xiaoyi Liu, Xuerui Peng, Peng Peng, Lili Li, Xu Lei, Jing Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: In the present study, we explored the age differences of mood states and memory performance between younger and older adults after one night of sleep disruption. Method: Twenty-nine younger adults and 30 older adults completed mood states assessments and memory tasks before and after sleep disruption. Participants’ sleep was disrupted by periodical phone calls once per hour. Sleep parameters of baseline sleep and disrupted sleep were recorded by actigraphy. Results: Regarding the mood states, older adults were less affected than younger adults, more tolerant of sleep disruption. With respect to memory, younger adults showed increased memory performance after nocturnal sleep, even if this sleep was disrupted. In contrast, older adults’ sleep-related memory consolidation was impaired. Conclusion: Periodic sleep disruption for one night resulted in impaired function of older adults’ sleep-related memory consolidation and younger adults’ mood states. These findings shed light on the understanding of sleep function on memory and emotion. Specifically, sleep disruption might be one of the reasons for older adults’ memory decline and it might also be one of the causes for younger adults’ emotion disorders. Further investigations on the relationship between sleep disruption, cognitive performance and emotional well-being are needed to find potential ways to prevent and treat the sleep-related neuropsychological impairments in both younger and older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1444-1451
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Aging
  • memory
  • mood states
  • sleep
  • sleep disruption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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