Morning preference is associated with subjective happiness among Japanese female workers: A moderation analysis by sleep characteristics from the SLEPT study

Chronobiol Int. 2022 May;39(5):690-703. doi: 10.1080/07420528.2022.2028801. Epub 2022 Jan 25.


Research on mental health in working populations has predominantly focussed on negative outcomes, while studies on the positive aspects of life remain very limited, especially in Japan. Although morningness has recently been considered a factor for being happy, the role of sleep characteristics as it relates to the association between morningness and happiness has not been substantiated. The aim of this study is to investigate the associations between diurnal preference and level of subjective happiness in healthy, full-time, daytime workers in Japan. We also tested the moderation effect of sleep parameters on the relationship between diurnal preference and subjective happiness. This is an exploratory analysis from the cross-sectional data of the SLeep Epidemiology Project at the University of Tsukuba (SLEPT Study). Subjective happiness was evaluated using a single-item question. Diurnal preference was assessed using the Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ), in which higher scores indicate greater tendency to have morning preference. The participants underwent assessment of sleep parameters for 7 consecutive days using a waist-worn actigraphy device and kept a sleep diary. Sleep parameters investigated were subjective sleep quality, sleep disturbance, daytime sleepiness, weekend oversleep, total sleep time, sleep onset time, wake time, and sleep efficiency. A total of 205 males (average 42.6 ± 10.4 years) and 272 females (41.1 ± 9.8 years) were eligible for analysis. Hierarchical liner regression analysis was used to show the relationships of subjective happiness with MEQ score, and the sleep parameters. Further, moderation analysis was conducted by adding the interaction between MEQ score and the sleep parameters. After adjusting for age, psychological distress, self-rated health, and occupational stress, we found that subjective happiness was significantly associated with higher MEQ score and sleep efficiency but only in female. The moderating role of sleep parameters was not found. We discussed the implications of the obtained results and a possible strategy to maintain and improve subjective happiness of female workers who have evening preference.

Keywords: Actigraphy; Japan; SLeep Epidemiology Project at The University of Tsukuba (SLEPT); diurnal preference; subjective happiness; worker.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence*
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Sleep
  • Surveys and Questionnaires