Affiliative Interpersonal Behaviors During Stress Are Associated with Sleep Quality and Presleep Arousal in Young, Healthy Adults

Published in: Sleep Health, Volume 3, Issue 2, April 2017, Pages 98-101. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2016.12.004

Posted on on April 26, 2017

by Heather E. Gunn, Kenneth L. Critchfield, Julia E. Mackaronis, Holly K. Rau, Matthew R. Cribbet, Wendy M. Troxel, Paula G. Williams

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This study examined the association between stress-related interpersonal behaviors, presleep arousal (PSA), and sleep quality.


Sixty-four participants (53% female) described a recent stressful interpersonal event that was coded for overall degree of affiliation (warmth vs hostility) and autonomy (independence vs interdependence). Cognitive and somatic PSA and sleep quality were examined using regression with affiliation and autonomy scores as predictors. Specific interpersonal behaviors that comprise overall affiliation were also examined.


More affiliation (warmth) was associated with lower cognitive PSA ([Beta] = -.32) and better sleep quality ([Beta] = -.28). Autonomy was not associated with sleep quality or PSA. The specific behavior trust in others was associated with better sleep quality (rs = -.25).


Behaviors during stress reflect underlying dimensions of interpersonal security. Findings underscore importance of interpersonal frameworks for understanding associations between stress and sleep, and provide support for the anthropological theory that interpersonal security is necessary for healthy sleep.

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