Beneficial effects of sleep extension on daily emotion in short-sleeping young adults: An experience sampling study

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Objectives: Short sleep duration has been linked to disrupted emotional experiences and poor emotion regulation. Extending sleep opportunity might therefore offer a means to improve emotion functioning. This study used experience sampling to examine the effect of sleep extension on daily emotion experiences and emotion regulation. Participants: Participants were young adults (n = 72), aged 18-24 years who reported consistently sleeping less than 7 hours in a 24-hour period in the past 2 weeks. Design and setting: For 14 consecutive days, participants completed experience sampling questions related to sleep, emotion, and emotion regulation via a smartphone application. Procedures were identical for all participants for the first 7 days (“baseline” assessments). Intervention: From days 8-14, participants were randomly assigned to either a “sleep extension” condition, in which they were instructed to increase their sleep opportunity by 90 minutes or a “sleep as usual” condition. Measurements: Duration and quality of the previous night's sleep were reported each morning and daytime experiences of positive and negative emotion and emotion regulation were measured at pseudorandom timepoints 6 times a day. Results: Multilevel modeling demonstrated that participants in the sleep extension condition reported significantly longer sleep times and improved sleep quality, as well as higher positive and lower negative daily emotion, compared to those in the sleep as usual condition. Conclusion: A brief experimental paradigm to extend sleep length has the potential to improve sleep quality and to a minor extent mood, among young adults with short sleep.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSleep Health
Pages (from-to)505 - 513
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by funding awarded to KSY from the Psychology and Systems Sciences Divisional Support Fund, King's College London . CEP received funding from the TrygFonden Charitable Foundation (ID: 117642) and Helsefonden (32062). KSY is supported by funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Emotion regulation, Experience sampling methodology, Positive emotion, Sleep, Sleep extension

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