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How people feel about sleep connected to well-being

2023 Aug 05, 12:25, Coventry [England]
Source: ANI

According to a study performed by the University of Warwick, how people feel about their sleep has a greater impact on their well-being than what sleep-tracking technology indicates about their sleep quality.

Over a two-week period, over 100 participants aged 18-22 years were asked to keep a daily sleep diary about the previous night's sleep, including when they went to bed, when they got ready to fall asleep, how long it took them to fall asleep, when they woke up, when they got out of bed, and how satisfied they were with their overall sleep.

Participants were asked to score their positive and negative emotions, as well as their level of satisfaction with their lives, five times the following day. Participants also wore an actigraph on their wrist for the duration of the study, which measures a person's movement to assess their sleep patterns and rest cycles.

The actigraphy data was compared to the individuals' views of their sleep and how they felt the next day by the researchers. They wanted to know how variations in people's normal sleep patterns and quality affect their mood and life satisfaction the next day.

Lead author Dr Anita Lenneis, from the University of Warwick’s Department of Psychology, said: “Our results found that how young people evaluated their own sleep was consistently linked with how they felt about their well-being and life satisfaction.

“For example, when participants reported that they slept better than they normally did, they experienced more positive emotions and had a higher sense of life satisfaction the following day. However, the actigraphy-derived measure of sleep quality which is called sleep efficiency was not associated with next day’s well-being at all.

“This suggests there is a difference between actigraphy-measured sleep efficiency and people’s own perception of their sleep quality in how they link to people’s evaluations of their well-being.”

Professor Anu Realo, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick added: “Our findings are consistent with our previous research that identified people's self-reported health, and not their actual health conditions, as the main factor associated with their subjective well-being and especially with life satisfaction.

“It’s people’s perception of their sleep quality and not the actigraphy-based sleep efficiency which matters to their well-being.”

Overall, the study suggests that evaluating your sleep positively may contribute to a better mood on the next day.

“Even though a sleep tracking device might say that you slept poorly last night, your own perception of your sleep quality may be quite positive. And if you think that you slept well, it may help better your mood the next day,” Dr Lenneis added.

“On the contrary, if a sleep tracker tells you that you slept well, but you did not experience the night as such, this information may help you to reassess how well you actually slept. A sleep tracker offers information about your sleep which is typically not accessible whilst being asleep. So, it may improve your subjective perception of last night’s sleep and thereby your overall next day’s well-being.” 


Sleep health and medicine young people Mental Health sleep quality
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