Relationship between sleep quality and mood: Ecological momentary assessment study

Sofia Triantafillou*, Sohrab Saeb, Emily G. Lattie, David C. Mohr, Konrad Paul Kording

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Sleep disturbances play an important role in everyday affect and vice versa. However, the causal day-to-day interaction between sleep and mood has not been thoroughly explored, partly because of the lack of daily assessment data. Mobile phones enable us to collect ecological momentary assessment data on a daily basis in a noninvasive manner. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between self-reported daily mood and sleep quality. Methods: A total of 208 adult participants were recruited to report mood and sleep patterns daily via their mobile phones for 6 consecutive weeks. Participants were recruited in 4 roughly equal groups: depressed and anxious, depressed only, anxious only, and controls. The effect of daily mood on sleep quality and vice versa were assessed using mixed effects models and propensity score matching. Results: All methods showed a significant effect of sleep quality on mood and vice versa. However, within individuals, the effect of sleep quality on next-day mood was much larger than the effect of previous-day mood on sleep quality. We did not find these effects to be confounded by the participants' past mood and sleep quality or other variables such as stress, physical activity, and weather conditions. Conclusions: We found that daily sleep quality and mood are related, with the effect of sleep quality on mood being significantly larger than the reverse. Correcting for participant fixed effects dramatically affected results. Causal analysis suggests that environmental factors included in the study and sleep and mood history do not mediate the relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12613
JournalJMIR Mental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Affect
  • Causality
  • Depression
  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Sleep
  • Smartphone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship between sleep quality and mood: Ecological momentary assessment study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this