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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Personality and healthy sleep: the importance of conscientiousness and neuroticism.

  • Author(s): Duggan, Katherine A
  • Friedman, Howard S
  • McDevitt, Elizabeth A
  • Mednick, Sara C
  • et al.

Although previous research has shown personality and sleep are each substantial predictors of health throughout the lifespan, little is known about links between personality and healthy sleep patterns. This study examined Big Five personality traits and a range of factors related to sleep health in 436 university students (M(age) = 19.88, SD = 1.50, 50% Male). Valid self-report measures of personality, chronotype, sleep hygiene, sleep quality, and sleepiness were analyzed. To remove multicollinearity between personality factors, each sleep domain was regressed on relevant demographic and principal component-derived personality factors in multiple linear regressions. Results showed that low conscientiousness and high neuroticism were the best predictors of poor sleep (poor sleep hygiene, low sleep quality, and increased sleepiness), consistent with other research on predictors of poor health and mortality risk. In this first comprehensive study of the topic, the findings suggest that personality has a significant association with sleep health, and researchers could profitably examine both personality and sleep in models of health and well-being.

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