A recent study reveals that individuals’ perceptions of their sleep quality are closely linked to their overall well-being, particularly affecting their mood the following day.
Conducted by researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK over a two-week span, the study involved more than 100 participants aged 18 to 22. They were instructed to maintain a daily sleep diary detailing their previous night’s sleep, including bedtime, time taken to fall asleep, wake-up time, rising time, and their general satisfaction level with their sleep.
Throughout the subsequent day, participants were asked five times to rate their positive and negative emotions, as well as their life satisfaction. Additionally, participants wore an actigraph on their wrist, a device that measures movement, to assess sleep patterns and rest cycles.
The researchers compared the actigraphy data with participants’ self-perceived sleep quality and their emotional states during the following day. Their aim was to examine how deviations from normal sleep patterns and quality could impact mood and life satisfaction on the subsequent day.
Lead author Anita Lenneis from Warwick’s Department of Psychology explained, “Our findings consistently demonstrated a connection between how young individuals assessed their own sleep and their sense of well-being and life satisfaction. For instance, reporting better sleep than usual was linked to experiencing more positive emotions and an elevated sense of life satisfaction the next day. Interestingly, sleep efficiency measured by actigraphy – a metric for sleep quality – did not exhibit any association with well-being on the following day.”
This suggests a divergence between actigraphy-derived sleep efficiency and individuals’ personal perceptions of sleep quality in terms of their influence on well-being.
In summary, the study, published in Emotion, suggests that maintaining a positive outlook on one’s sleep quality may contribute to an improved mood the subsequent day.
Professor Anu Realo from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick commented, “These findings align with our previous research, which highlighted individuals’ self-reported health – rather than their actual health conditions – as the primary factor linked to their subjective well-being and, particularly, life satisfaction. It’s the perception of sleep quality, not actigraphy-based sleep efficiency, that significantly affects well-being.”
This research underscores the psychological significance of how individuals perceive their sleep quality in relation to their overall well-being.