Skip to main content

Sleep and psychological well-being

Abstract

Although many studies have linked sleep problems with symptoms of psychopathology, fewer studies have examined the relationship between sleep and dimensions of psychological health as well as depression. To fill this gap, 502 community residents were surveyed about sleep habits, symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as Ryff’s six dimensions of psychological well-being. Using cut-offs suggested by epidemiological research, participants were classified as either optimal sleepers (those reporting an average of 6 hours or less than 8.5 hours per night) or suboptimal sleepers (those sleeping less than 6 hours or 8.5 or more hours per night). After controlling for demographic differences (i.e., sex, age, education, ethnicity, employment status, marital status, presence of children), the Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) suggested that optimal sleepers reported fewer symptoms of depression, and anxiety, and reported higher levels of environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations with others, purpose in life, and self acceptance. Differences between optimal sleepers and non-optimal sleepers in depressive symptoms, positive relations with others, purpose in life and self-acceptance remained significant when people with mild to moderate symptoms of depression were eliminated from the data set. These results are consistent with a theoretical framework that defines sleep as a resource related to stress management and self-regulation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Adam K., Oswald I. (1977) Sleep is for tissue restoration. Journal for the Royal College of Physicians 11:376–388

    Google Scholar 

  2. Allgower A., Wardle J., Steptoe A. (2001) Depressive symptoms, social support, and personal health behaviors in young men and women. Health Psychology 20:223–227

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Beck A.T., Rush J A., Shaw B.F., Emery G. (1979) Cognitive therapy of depression. Guilford, New York

    Google Scholar 

  4. Beck A.T., Steer A., Garbin M.G. (1988) Psychometric properties of the Beck Depression Inventory: Twenty-five years of evaluation. Clinical Psychology Review 8:77–100

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bixler E.O., Kales A., Slodotos C.R., Kales J.D., Healy S. (1979). Prevalence of sleep disorders in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. American Journal of Psychiatry 136:1257–1262

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bradburn N.M. (1969) The structure of psychological well-being. Aldine, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  7. Breslau N., Roth T., Rosenthal L., Andreski P. (1996) Sleep disturbance and psychiatric disorders: a longitudinal epidemiological study of young adults. Biological Psychiatry 39:411–418

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Brim O.G., Ryff C.D., Kessler R.C. (eds) (2004) How healthy are we? A national study of well-being at midlife. University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  9. Bureau, U.S.C. 2004, ‚2004 American Community Survey: Dallas County, Texas’. (U. S. Census Bureau)

  10. Carlson L.E., Speca M., Patel K.D., Goodey E. (2004) Mindfulness-based stress reduction in relation to quality of life, mood, symptoms of stress and levels of cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and melatonin in breast and prostate cancer. Psychoneuroendocrinology 29:448–474

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Chang P.P., Ford D.E., Mead L.A., Cooper-Patrick L., Klag M.J. (1997). Insomnia in young men and subsequent depression: The Johns Hopkins Precursor Study. American Journal of Epidemiology 146:105–114

    Google Scholar 

  12. Dinges D.F., Pack F., Williams K., Gillen K.A., Powell J. W., Ott G.E., et al. (1997) Cumulative sleepiness, mood disturbance, and psychomotor vigilance performance decrements during a week of sleep restricted to 4–5 hours per night. Sleep 20:267–277

    Google Scholar 

  13. Drake C.L., Roehrs T., Roth T. (2003). Insomnia causes, consequences, and therapeutics: An overview. Depression and Anxiety 18:163–176

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Ford D.E., Kamerow D.B. (1989) Epidemiologic study of sleep disturbances and psychiatric disorders. Journal of the American Medical Association 262:1479–1484

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Gale C., Martyn C. (1998) Larks and owls and health, wealth and wisdom. British Medical Journal 317:1675–1677

    Google Scholar 

  16. Hamilton M. (1989) Frequency of symptoms in melancholia (depressive illness). British Journal of Psychiatry 154:201–206

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Hamilton, N.A., D. Catley and C. Karlson: (in press) ‚Sleep and the affective response to stress and pain’, Health Psychology

  18. Hauser, R.M. and W.H. Sewell: 1992/1993, Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) [graduates], Retrieved Dec 12, 2005, from http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/wls/documentation/

  19. Healey E.S., Kales A., Monroe L.J., Bixler E.O., Chamberlin K., Soldatos C.R. (1981) Onset of insomnia: Role of life stress events. Psychosomatic Medicine 43:439–451

    Google Scholar 

  20. Ingram R.E., Siegle G.J. (2001) Methodological issues in depression research. In: Hammen I.G.C. (eds) Handbook of Depression. Guilford Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  21. John U., Meyer C., Rumpf H.J., Hapke U. (2005) Relationships of psychiatric disorders with sleep duration in an adult general population sample. Journal of Psychiatric Research 39:577–583

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Kabat-Zinn J. (1990), Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness. Delacorte, New York

    Google Scholar 

  23. Karacan I., Thornby J.I., Anch M., Holzer C.E., Warheit G.J., Schwab J.J., et al. (1976) Prevalence of sleep disturbances in a primarily urban Florida county. Social Science Medicine 10:239–244

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Karoly P. (1999) A goal-systems-self-regulatory perspective on personality, psychopathology, and change. Review of General Psychology 3:264–291

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Kendall P.C., Hollon S.D., Beck A.T., Hammen C.L., Ingram R.E. (1987) Issues and recommendations regarding use of the Beck Depression Inventory. Cognitive Therapy and Research 11:289–299

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Kojima M., Wakai K., Kawamura T., Tamakoshi A., Aoki R.Y.L., Lin Y., Nakayama Y., Horibe H., Aoki N., Ohno Y. (2000). Sleep patterns and total mortality: A 12-year followup study in Japan. Journal of Epidemiology 10:87–93

    Google Scholar 

  27. Kripke D.F., Garfinkel L., Wingard D.L., Klauber M., Marler M.R. (2002) Mortality associated with sleep duration and insomnia. Archives of General Psychiatry 59:131–136

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Kripke D.F., Simmons R.N., Garfinkel M.A., Hammond E.C. (1979) Short and long sleep and sleeping pills. Archives of General Psychiatry 36:103–116

    Google Scholar 

  29. Mellinger G.D., Balter M.B., Uhlenhth E.H. (1985). Insomnia and its treatment: Prevalence and correlates. Archives of General Psychiatry 42:225–232

    Google Scholar 

  30. Mellman T. (2003) Sleep Aspects of Anxiety Disorders. Blackwell, Bath

    Google Scholar 

  31. Morin C.M., Rodrigue S., Ivers H. (2003) Role of stress, arousal, and coping skills in primary insomnia. Psychosomatic Medicine 65:259–267

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Ohayon M.M., Roth T. (2002) Prevalence of restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder in the general population. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 53:547–554

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Parish J.M., Somers V.K. (2004) Obstructive sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 79:1036–1046

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Reich J.W., Zautra A.J., Davis M. (2003) Dimensions of affect relationships: Models and their integrative implications. Review of General Psychology 7:66–83

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Reynolds C.F. III, Taska L.S., Sewitch D.E., Restifo K., Coble P.A., Kupfer D.J. (1984) Persistent psychphysiological insomnia: Preliminary research diagnostic criteria and EEG sleep data. American Journal of Psychiatry 141:804–805

    Google Scholar 

  36. Rothenberg S.A. (1997) Introducing sleep disorders. In: Pressman M.R., Orr W.C. (eds) Understanding Sleep. American Psychological Association, Washington DC

    Google Scholar 

  37. Ruini C., Ottolini F., Rafanelli C., Tossani E., Ryff C.D., Fava G.A. (2003) The relationship of psychological well-being to distress and personality. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 72:268–275

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Ryff C.D. (1989) Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57:1069–1081

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Ryff C.D., Keyes C.L.M., Shmotkin D. (2002) Optimizing well-being: The empirical encounter of two traditions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 82:1007–1022

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Ryff C.D., Singer B.H., Love G.D. (2004) Positive health: Connecting well-being with biology. Philosophical Transactions of Royal Society London B 359:1383–1394

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Shapirio C.M., Dement W.C. (1993). Impact and epidemiology of sleep disorders. British Medical Journal 306:1604–1607

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Skobel E., Norra C., Sinha A., Breuer C., Hanrath P., Stellbrink C. (2005) Impact of sleep-related breathing disorders on health-related quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure. European Journal of Heart Failure 7:505–511

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Snyder C.R., Cheavens J.S., Michael S.T. (2005) Hope Theory: History and Elaborated Model. In: Eliot J.A. (eds) Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Hope. Nova Science Publishers, Haupage

    Google Scholar 

  44. Spielberger C.A., Gorsuch R.L., Lushene R.E. (1970) Manuel for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto

    Google Scholar 

  45. Totterdell P., Reynolds S., Parkinson B., Briner R.B. (1994) Associations of sleep with everyday mood, minor symptoms and social interaction experience. Sleep 17:466–475

    Google Scholar 

  46. Vollrath M., Wicki W., Angst J. (1989) The Zurich study. VIII. Insomnia: association with depression, anxiety, somatic syndromes, and course of insomnia. European Archives of Psychiatry Neurological Sciences 239:113–124

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Watson D., Wiese D., Vaidya J., Tellegen A. (1999) The two general activation systems of affect: Structural findings, evolutionary considerations, and psychobiological evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 76:820–838

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Wingard D.L., Berkman L.F., Brand R.J. (1982) A multivariate analysis of health-related practices: A nine-year mortality follow-up of the Alameda County Study. American Journal of Epidemiology 116:765–775

    Google Scholar 

  49. Zammit G.K., Weiner J., Damato N., Sillup G.P., McMillan C.A. (1999) Quality of life in people with insomnia. Sleep 22:379–385

    Google Scholar 

  50. Zautra A.J. (2003) Emotions, Stress, and Health. Oxford University Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  51. Zohar D., Tzischinsky O., Epstein R., Lavie P. (2005) The effects of sleep loss on medical residents’ emotional reactions to work events: A cognitive-energy model. Sleep 28:47–54

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

Nancy Hamilton would like to acknowledge her colleague and mentor the late C. Rick Snyder for his feedback on early drafts of this manuscript.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to N. A. Hamilton.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hamilton, N.A., Nelson, C.A., Stevens, N. et al. Sleep and psychological well-being. Soc Indic Res 82, 147–163 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-006-9030-1

Download citation

Keywords

  • sleep
  • psychological well-being
  • depression
  • anxiety