Individual differences in perceived sleep quality do not predict negative affect reactivity or regulation

Biol Psychol. 2021 Sep;164:108149. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2021.108149. Epub 2021 Jul 17.


Do people who have low-quality sleep tend to have more negative affect? This question is of great public interest, and many would assume the answer is "yes." However, previous findings have been mixed, possibly due to differing measures of sleep and affect, or to a failure to separately examine negative affect reactivity and regulation. Across two studies, we assessed adults' perceived sleep quality for at least two weeks and tested their negative affect reactivity and regulation in response to unpleasant pictures (Study 1) or painful thermal stimulation (Study 2) using both self-report and physiological measures. The relationships between perceived sleep quality, on the one hand, and negative affect reactivity and regulation, on the other, were non-significant. Furthermore, a Bayesian approach unanimously favored the null hypothesis. These results suggest that individual differences in perceived sleep quality may not predict negative affect reactivity or regulation across adult individuals.

Keywords: Affect reactivity; Affect regulation; Bayesian analysis; Negative affect; Sleep.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Humans
  • Individuality*
  • Self Report
  • Sleep