Day-to-day directional relationships between sleep duration and negative affect

Kathryn E. Barber, Gavin N. Rackoff, Michelle G. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: There is a strong association between sleep disturbance and negative affect. However, the day-to-day directional connections between sleep and negative affect remain unclear. We examined day-to-day relationships between sleep duration and negative affect in community adults. Methods: Participants were two subsamples of the Midlife in the United States Study (Sample 1: n = 2,022; Sample 2: n = 782). Daily negative affect and previous night sleep duration were assessed via end-of-day telephone interviews for eight days. Random intercept cross-lagged panel models tested sleep duration as a predictor of next-day negative affect and vice versa, controlling for age, gender, and race. Results: In both samples, shorter sleep duration predicted higher next-day negative affect, but daily negative affect was not a significant predictor of upcoming-night sleep duration. Follow-up analyses indicated that the relationship between sleep duration and negative affect was nonlinear. Sleeping fewer than 7.5 hours or more than 10.5 hours was associated with greater next-day negative affect than sleeping between 7.5 and 10.5 hours. Conclusions: In two large samples of community adults, sleep duration unidirectionally predicted higher next-day negative affect, and this relationship was nonlinear. Sleeping at least 7.5 hours and no more than 10.5 hours appeared to be an optimal range associated with lowest next-day negative affect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111437
JournalJournal of psychosomatic research
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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