, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 1123–1133 | Cite as

Impact of Partial Sleep Deprivation on Psychological Functioning: Effects on Mindfulness and Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction

  • Rachel CampbellEmail author
  • Bart Soenens
  • Netta Weinstein
  • Maarten Vansteenkiste


Extending previous research on the psychological costs of sleep deprivation, the present study examined the impact of insufficient sleep on the capacity to be mindful as well as on the satisfaction of individuals’ basic psychological needs, two psychological sources of mental health. The interrelationship between these two psychological resources and fatigue following sleep deprivation was also examined. Participants were 49 adults (77% female; Mage = 32.81 years, SD = 13.09 years) who were randomly assigned to either an experimental (N = 23) or a control (N = 26) group. The study had a 4-day within-person design. In the experimental group, a baseline assessment day was followed by 3 days of partial sleep deprivation (i.e., 5-h sleep per night), whereas participants in the control group slept as usual across the 4-day period. Participants rated their fatigue and psychological functioning each evening and wore an actigraph watch which monitored their sleep. Participants reported increased fatigue after 1 day of sleep deprivation, whereas it took 3 days of sleep deprivation before their mindfulness and need satisfaction deteriorated. Mediational analyses indicated that decreased need satisfaction after 3 days of sleep deprivation was completely accounted for (i.e., explained) by increased fatigue and subsequent decreases in mindfulness. These findings build on previous research by showing that mindfulness and need-based experiences not only precede but also follow from sleep at night.


Sleep deprivation Mindfulness Basic psychological needs Fatigue 


Author Contributions

RC: Assisted with the design, coordinated the data collection, performed the data analysis, and wrote the paper. BS: Assisted with data analysis and critically revised the paper. NW: Assisted with data analysis and critically revised the paper. MV: Designed the study, assisted with data analysis, and critically revised the paper.


This study was funded by Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (grant number FWO.OPR.2013. 0140.01 – IV2).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of Ghent University and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Developmental, Personality and Social PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.School of PsychologyCardiff UniversityCardiffWales

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