Associations between sleep patterns, smoking, and alcohol use among older adults in Canada: Insights from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)

Junayd Hussain, Linda Ling, Rea T Alonzo, Rebecca Rodrigues, Kathryn Nicholson, Saverio Stranges, Kelly K Anderson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Poor sleep is associated with chronic health conditions among older adults. As substance use rates increase in this population, age-related physiological and cognitive declines may exacerbate its detrimental consequences, including sleep problems. We analyzed cross-sectional associations between sleep patterns, smoking, and alcohol use using baseline data from 30,097 community-dwelling Canadian adults aged 45-85 years from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Insomnia symptoms (difficulties falling/staying asleep), sleep duration (short:<6h; long:>8h), and sleep satisfaction(dissatisfied/neutral/satisfied) were measured. Smoking and alcohol-use frequency (past 12 months), average daily amount (past 30 days), and binge drinking (past 12 months) were self-reported, and associations were examined using modified Poisson regression. Approximately 23% of participants had insomnia symptoms, and 26% reported sleep dissatisfaction. 91% of participants were current non-smokers, whereas 7% reported smoking daily. Over 50% drank ≤ 2 drinks daily, and 3% reported binge drinking. There was a higher adjusted prevalence of insomnia among daily smokers (PR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.00-1.21) and binge drinkers (PR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.02-1.43). Odds of short sleep duration were lower among regular drinkers (COR = 0.71, 95% CI = 0.56-0.90) and higher among daily smokers (COR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.01-1.40). Heavy and frequent smoking and alcohol use are associated with both insomnia symptoms and sleep dissatisfaction, but not consistently with sleep duration. Further longitudinal investigation of this relationship in aging populations is needed in clinical and public health settings to infer the extent of causality and design effective public health interventions in this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107345
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology
  • Binge Drinking/epidemiology
  • Canada/epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethanol
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Sleep/physiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/epidemiology
  • Smoking/epidemiology


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