Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 537–553 | Cite as

Time Estimation in Good and Poor Sleepers

  • Catherine S. FichtenEmail author
  • Laura Creti
  • Rhonda Amsel
  • Sally Bailes
  • Eva Libman

Time estimation was examined in 148 older good and poor sleepers in analogue and naturalistic sleep settings. On analogue tasks, both “empty” time and time listening to an audiobook were overestimated by both good and poor sleepers. There were no differences between groups. “Empty” time was experienced as “dragging.” In the sleep setting, most poor sleepers underestimated nocturnal sleep and overestimated awake times related to their own sleep problem: sleep onset vs. sleep maintenance insomnia. Good sleepers did the opposite. Severity of sleep problem and size of time estimation errors were unrelated. Greater night-to-night wake time variability was experienced by poor than by good sleepers. Psychological adjustment was unrelated to time estimations and to magnification or minimization of sleep problems. The results suggest that for poor sleepers who magnify their sleep problem, self-monitoring can be of benefit by demonstrating that the sleep problem is not as severe as believed.


insomnia good sleepers time estimation self-report sleep and wake times time production audiobook vs. blank tape 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine S. Fichten
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  • Laura Creti
    • 1
  • Rhonda Amsel
    • 4
  • Sally Bailes
    • 1
  • Eva Libman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.S.M.B.D. Jewish General HospitalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Concordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Dawson CollegeMontrealCanada
  4. 4.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  5. 5.ICFP—Department of PsychiatryJewish General HospitalMontrealCanada

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