Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 253–261 | Cite as

Duration and Timing of Sleep are Associated with Repetitive Negative Thinking

  • Jacob A. NotaEmail author
  • Meredith E. Coles
Brief Report


Higher levels of repetitive negative thinking (RNT; a perseverative and abstract focus on negative aspects of one’s experience) are associated with reduced sleep duration. This information is already informing theory and clinical practice. However, we are not aware of any studies examining the relation between RNT and the timing of sleep. We examined both disorder specific measures of RNT and a transdiagnostic measure of the RNT process in relation to sleep duration and timing in a sample of 100 unselected undergraduates. Replicating prior findings, shorter sleep duration was cross-sectionally associated with more rumination and delayed sleep timing was associated with more obsessive–compulsive symptoms. Further, extending this prior work, the transdiagnostic measure of RNT was associated with shorter sleep duration and delayed sleep timing. Individuals who endorsed a preference for later sleep and activity times also reported more RNT. These findings suggest that RNT may be uniquely related to both sleep duration and timing.


Repetitive negative thinking Worry Rumination OCD symptoms Sleep Bedtimes 


Conflict of Interest

Jacob A. Nota and Meredith E. Coles declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Animal Rights

No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBinghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA

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