Research investigating the relationship between cognitive styles and sleep quality has focused on younger adults, despite insomnia being most prevalent in older adults. Improved knowledge of the psychological factors associated with disturbed sleep may help to improve therapies. Fifty-four adults aged 60–84 years reported on their sleep quality, pre-sleep arousal, dysfunctional beliefs about sleep and completed a catastrophising interview. In individual models, pre-sleep arousal, dysfunctional beliefs and the number of catastrophising steps all predicted self-reported sleep quality. Interviews revealed several worries of particular relevance to older adults, including fears about accidents, health and domestic management. These findings suggest that similar associations between cognitions and insomnia are present in older as in younger adults, but also that greater consideration should perhaps be paid to the content of the worries that are specific to this population.