This descriptive study examined sleep and mental health variables in 37 older wife caregivers for spouses with dementia compared to 37 age-matched controls. The relationships among selected caregiving variables (behavioral problems, caregiving hours, and years of caregiving), appraisal of burden, self-reported sleep efficiency for the past week, and mental health outcomes were examined. Lazarus and Folkman's stress and coping framework guided the study. Mental health and sleep were poorer for caregivers. Caregiving and appraisal of burden variables showed direct and indirect effects on mental health. However, caregiving and appraisal of burden variables were not significant for predicting sleep efficiency. Sleep efficiency was a good predictor of mental health in this sample of wife caregivers.
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