The Relationship of Neuroticism with Sleep Quality: The Mediating Role of Emotional, Cognitive and Metacognitive Factors

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Behavioral sleep medicine


Background: Poor sleep quality is associated with a broad range of psychopathology and is a common problem among college students. This study aimed to investigate the mediating role of metacognitive beliefs related to sleep, emotion regulation and a negative cognitive style related to anxiety (looming cognitive style) in the relation between neuroticism and reported sleep quality.

Participants: Participants were 343 undergraduates from three universities in Tehran (56.3% females, Mean age = 22.01 ± 2.74 years).

Method: Data were gathered with a questionnaire packet that included the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Metacognitions Questionnaire-Insomnia (MCQ-I), Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ), Looming Maladaptive Style Questionnaire (LMSQ) and Neuroticism subscale of NEO-PI-R.

Results: Structural equation modeling analyses supported a proposed model (R(2) = 37%) which proposed that neuroticism both directly and indirectly linked to reported sleep quality through metacognitions related to sleep, cognitive reappraisal and looming cognitive style (χ2 = 1194.87, p < .001; CFI = 0.93, NFI = 0.90, RMSEA = 0.065, GFI = 0.92, SRMR = 0.069, IFI = 0.93).

Conclusions: The results provide evidence for the impact of neuroticism on reported sleep quality through metacognitive, cognitive and emotional factors. The result suggest that special attention should be paid to these factors in the treatment and psychopathology of sleep quality.

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