On SAGE Insight: Associations Between Sleep and Anxiety Symptoms in Emerging Adults

Article title: Bidirectional Associations Between Sleep and Anxiety Symptoms in Emerging Adults in a Residential College Setting

From Emerging Adulthood

Emerging adulthood represents a unique developmental stage during which individuals are presented with new opportunities and challenges as they seek out greater independence from their families of origin. As part of this transition, research has shown that this developmental stage represents a high-risk period for the onset of psychopathology. Links between sleep and anxiety have been examined across a broad array of developmental stages. This study sought to extend this current literature by examining daily links between sleep problems and anxiety in a multiwave study and examining that phenomenon in a sample of emerging adults—a period of development often overlooked in this literature.

Daily covariation of three sleep indicators (quantity, quality, post sleep restedness), anxiety symptoms, and caffeine and alcohol consumption was observed in 283 emerging adults. Participants completed web-based sleep diary surveys every morning and evening for 7 consecutive days. Cross-lagged models suggested that sleep quality and restedness (reported each morning) predicted students’ anxiety levels (reported each evening) and that anxiety levels predicted all three sleep indicators. These data support bidirectionality between sleep and anxiety symptoms in emerging adults attending college/university and highlight potential avenues for intervention. 

Abstract

Daily covariation of three sleep indicators (quantity, quality, postsleep restedness), anxiety symptoms, and caffeine and alcohol consumption was observed in 283 emerging adults (Mage = 19.9). Participants completed web-based sleep diary surveys every morning and evening for 7 consecutive days. Cross-lagged models suggested that sleep quality and restedness (reported each morning) predicted students’ anxiety levels (reported each evening) and that anxiety levels predicted all three sleep indicators. Furthermore, pre-bedtime caffeine consumption predicted worse sleep that night. Controlling for the effects of weekdays versus weekends produced virtually identical effects to the 7-day models, although weekend alcohol consumption emerged as a predictor of post sleep restedness. These data support bidirectionality between sleep and anxiety symptoms in emerging adults attending college/university and highlight potential avenues for intervention.

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 Article details:
Bidirectional Associations Between Sleep and Anxiety Symptoms in Emerging Adults in a Residential College Setting
Jack S. Peltz, Ronald D. Rogge, Cameron P. Pugach and Kathryn Strang
DOI: 10.1177/2167696816674551
2017, Vol. 5(3
From Emerging Adulthood

 

     
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