The intriguing connection between sleep perception and mood

Sleep is crucial to our overall health and wellbeing, particularly for children and young people whose growth and development rely on proper rest. Insufficient sleep leads to fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability and impaired judgment, affecting emotions, cognition, work, learning and relationships.

Sleep and mood are tightly intertwined. Poor sleep can lead to irritability, lack of focus and low energy. Prolonged sleep deficiency not only jeopardizes physical health but also significantly impacts mood.

Studies reveal a two-way relationship between sleeplessness and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety [12]. Sleep deprivation contributes to negative moods like anger, frustration and sadness while hindering positive emotions.

Interestingly, how you perceive your sleep quality plays a more significant role in wellbeing than what sleep-tracking devices indicate. Recent research from the University of Warwick underscores this, showing that individuals’ assessment of their sleep greatly influences their mood and overall satisfaction with life [3]. Participants who believed they slept well experienced enhanced positive emotions and life satisfaction, even if objective sleep measures did not match.

Another study conducted in 2019, involving 208 adult participants, emphasized the bidirectional link between sleep and mood [4]. The participants, categorized into groups based on depression and anxiety, reported their daily mood and sleep patterns through mobile phones. Results indicated a significant impact of sleep quality on mood and vice versa.

Notably, the influence of sleep quality on next-day mood was more pronounced than the effect of previous-day mood on sleep quality. This connection remained even when considering stress, physical activity and weather conditions.

These findings highlight the intricate relationship between sleep perception and mood. While sleep-tracking devices provide valuable insights, your perception of sleep quality can profoundly shape your emotional state.

Prioritizing healthy sleep habits and cultivating a positive view of your sleep can improve mood and overall wellbeing [5].


Photograph: Lazy_Bear/Envato
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