International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 625–634 | Cite as

Day-to-Day Variation of Subjective Sleep Quality and Emotional States Among Healthy University Students—a 1-Week Prospective Study

  • Péter Simor
  • Kendra N. Krietsch
  • Ferenc Köteles
  • Christina S. McCrae



In spite of the apparently bidirectional relationship between daytime emotions and nocturnal sleep quality, relatively few studies have examined the day-to-day co-variation of daytime emotional states and sleep quality.


In order to address this issue, we used a 7-day prospective design allowing for the simultaneous investigation of the bidirectional link between sleep quality and affective states.


Seventy-five healthy university students completed a daily log during 7 days, reporting subjective sleep quality after their final morning awakenings. Eight hours later, they completed the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule measuring daytime affective states. Multilevel modeling was applied in order to examine level 1 (day-to-day co-variation of sleep quality and affective states within individuals) as well as level 2 (averaged between-subjects) effects.


Individuals reporting poor sleep quality (on average) were characterized by lower positive and higher negative affect during daytime. Similarly, higher positive and lower negative affect (on average) predicted better subjective sleep quality during the assessment period. Moreover, daily ratings of positive and negative affect were related to the subjective sleep quality of the preceding night: On occasions in which participants reported poor (below average) sleep quality, they also reported lower positive and higher negative affect during the day. Nevertheless, daytime positive and negative affective states did not predict subsequent sleep quality ratings.


These findings suggest daily dynamic associations between subjective sleep quality and next day’s emotional states in a group of healthy individuals, while in the inverse, the co-variation between daytime affective states and subsequent sleep quality was not supported.


Sleep quality Negative affect Positive affect Daily associations 



This research was realized in the frames of TÁMOP 4.2.4. A/1-11-1-2012-0001 “National Excellence Program—Elaborating and operating an inland student and researcher personal support system.” The project was subsidized by the European Union and co-financed by the European Social Fund.

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.”

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Baglioni C, Spiegelhalder K, Lombardo C, Riemann D. Sleep and emotions: a focus on insomnia. Sleep Med Rev. 2010;14:227–38.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Steptoe A, O’Donnell K, Marmot M, Wardle J. Positive affect, psychological well-being, and good sleep. J Psychosom Res. 2008;64:409–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Norlander T, Johansson A, Bood SA. The affective personality: its relation to quality of sleep, well-being and stress. Soc Behav Personal Int J. 2005;33:709–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Stewart JC, Rand KL, Hawkins MAW, Stines JA. Associations of the shared and unique aspects of positive and negative emotional factors with sleep quality. Personal Individ Differ. 2011;50:609–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Granö N, Vahtera J, Virtanen M, Keltikangas-Järvinen L, Kivimäki M. Association of hostility with sleep duration and sleep disturbances in an employee population. Int J Behav Med. 2008;15:73–80.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jean-Louis G, Kripke DF, Ancoli-Israel S. Sleep and quality of well-being. Sleep. 2000;23:1115–21.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lemola S, Räikkönen K, Gomez V, Allemand M. Optimism and self-esteem are related to sleep. Results from a large community-based sample. IntJ Behav Med. 2013;567–71.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tavernier R, Willoughby T. Bidirectional associations between sleep (quality and duration) and psychosocial functioning across the university years. Dev Psychol. 2014;50:674–82.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Vandekerckhove M, Weiss R, Schotte C, Exadaktylos V, Haex B, Verbraecken J, et al. The role of presleep negative emotion in sleep physiology. Psychophysiology. 2011;48:1738–44.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Brissette I, Cohen S. The contribution of individual differences in hostility to the associations between daily interpersonal conflict, affect, and sleep. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2002;28:1265–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Åkerstedt T, Orsini N, Petersen H, Axelsson J, Lekander M, Kecklund G. Predicting sleep quality from stress and prior sleep—a study of day-to-day covariation across six weeks. Sleep Med. 2012;13:674–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Tempesta D, Couyoumdjian A, Curcio G, Moroni F, Marzano C, De Gennaro L, et al. Lack of sleep affects the evaluation of emotional stimuli. Brain Res Bull. 2010;82:104–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Soffer-Dudek N, Sadeh A, Dahl RE, Rosenblat-Stein S. Poor sleep quality predicts deficient emotion information processing over time in early adolescence. Sleep. 2011;34:1499–508.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gujar N, McDonald SA, Nishida M, Walker MP. A role for REM sleep in recalibrating the sensitivity of the human brain to specific emotions. Cereb Cortex. 2011;2:115–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vallières A, Ivers H, Bastien CH, Beaulieu-Bonneau S, Morin CM. Variability and predictability in sleep patterns of chronic insomniacs. J Sleep Res. 2005;14:447–53.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    McCrae CS, McNamara JPH, Rowe MA, Dzierzewski JM, Dirk J, Marsiske M, et al. Sleep and affect in older adults: using multilevel modeling to examine daily associations. J Sleep Res. 2008;17:42–53.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Galambos NL, Dalton AL, Maggs JL. Losing sleep over it: daily variation in sleep quantity and quality in Canadian students’ first semester of university. J Res Adolesc. 2009;19:741–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Galambos NL, Vargas Lascano DI, Howard AL, Maggs JL. Who sleeps best? Longitudinal patterns and covariates of change in sleep quantity, quality, and timing across four university years. Behav Sleep Med. 2013;11:8–22.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dvorak RD, Pearson MR, Day A. M. Ecological momentary assessment of acute alcohol use disorder symptoms: associations with mood, motives, and use on planned drinking days. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2014;22:285–97.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Simor P, Köteles F, Bódizs R. Bárdos G [A questionnaire based study of subjective sleep quality: the psychometric evaluation of the Hungarian version of the Groningen Sleep Quality Scale]. Mentálhigiéné es Pszichoszomatika. 2009;10:249–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Buysse DJ, Reynolds III CF, Monk TH, Berman SR, Kupfer DJ. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index: a new instrument for psychiatric practice and research. J Psychiatr Res. 1989;28:193–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Watson D, Clark LA, Tellegen A. Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: the PANAS scales. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1988;54:1063–70.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Köteles F, Bárány E, Varsányi P, Bárdos G. Are modern health worries associated with somatosensory amplification, environmental attribution style, and commitment to complementary and alternative medicine? Scand J Psychol. 2012;53:144–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Köteles F, Simor P. Modern Health Worries, somatosensory amplification and subjective symptoms: a longitudinal study. Int J Behav Med. 2013;20:38–41.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Raudenbush SW. Educational applications of hierarchical linear models: a review. J Educ Stat. 1988;13:85–116.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Willett JB, Singer JD, Martin NC. The design and analysis of longitudinal studies of development and psychopathology in context: statistical models and methodological recommendations. Dev Psychopathol. 1998;10:395–426.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Bartko JJ. On various intraclass correlation reliability coefficients. Psychol Bull. 1976;83:762–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Walker MP. The role of sleep in cognition and emotion. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009;1156:168–97.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Walker MP, van Der Helm E. Overnight therapy? The role of sleep in emotional brain processing. Psychol Bull. 2009;135:731–48.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Yoo S-S, Gujar N, Hu P, Jolesz FA, Walker MP. The human emotional brain without sleep—a prefrontal amygdala disconnect. Curr Biol. 2007;17:R877–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Spoormaker VI, Gvozdanovic GA, Sämann PG, Czisch M. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity and rapid eye movement sleep are associated with subsequent fear expression in human subjects. Exp Brain Res. 2014;232:1547–54.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Van der Helm E, Yao J, Dutt S, Rao V, Saletin JM, Walker MP. REM sleep depotentiates amygdala activity to previous emotional experiences. Curr Biol. 2011;21:2029–32.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Doane LD, Thurston EC. Associations among sleep, daily experiences, and loneliness in adolescence: evidence of moderating and bidirectional pathways. J Adolesc. 2014;37:145–54.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Wrzus C, Wagner GG, Riediger M. Feeling good when sleeping in? Day-to-day associations between sleep duration and affective well-being differ from youth to old age. Emotion. 2014;14:624–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Brosschot JF, Van Dijk E, Thayer JF. Daily worry is related to low heart rate variability during waking and the subsequent nocturnal sleep period. Int J Psychophysiol. 2007;63:39–47.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Carney CE, Harris AL, Moss TG, Edinger JD. Distinguishing rumination from worry in clinical insomnia. Behav Res Ther. 2010;48:540–6.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Péter Simor
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kendra N. Krietsch
    • 3
  • Ferenc Köteles
    • 4
  • Christina S. McCrae
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Cognitive SciencesBudapest University of Technology and EconomicsBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Nyírő Gyula HospitalNational Institute of Psychiatry and AddictionsBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, College of Public Health and Health ProfessionsUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Health Promotion and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Education and PsychologyEötvös Loránd UniversityBudapestHungary

Personalised recommendations