Title: Sleep and Relationships Study
Presenter: Allison Bennett
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Aurora Ramos Nuñez
Abstract: Sleep is one of the most important functions in humans and in almost any living organism’s life. The question is, how does sleep affect specific areas in people’s lives, specifically in romantic relationships? Research shows that several elements can affect how sleep influences a person’s life including conflict with partners, personality traits, or sleep environment (e.g. pillow types, mattress, or comforter, room temperature, lighting etc.). The purpose of the present study is to examine how sleep affects relationships and how personality affects these two dimensions together. The following hypotheses will be studied: Hypothesis one is that those who rate high in agreeableness will report higher amounts of sleep each night. Hypothesis two is that those who rate as having low conflict in their relationship will also report having higher amounts of sleep each night. The third hypothesis is those who report certain aspects of their bedroom as having greater importance (e.g. comfortable pillow and mattress) would be more likely to confront their partner about an issue. This study consisted of 99 questions. Twenty-four questions were from the Conflicts Within Relationships Scale (e.g. “I express thoughts and feelings openly.”) ranging from 24 to 120, the higher the score the less conflict. Six questions inquired about sleep amount and quality which included (e.g. “How many nights of sleep would you say, “I got a good night’s sleep?”). There were also questions from the National Sleep Foundation’s Bedroom Poll (e.g. room temperature, lighting, mattress type) where participants had to rate certain items on a scale of 1-5 (1 being very important to 5 being not important at all). There were 14 questions from the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (e.g. “I worry that my romantic partner won’t care about me as much as I care about them”) where the lowest possible score was 14 while the highest was 98. The higher the score in this category, the more emotional reassurance a person needs in their relationship while a person who receives a lower score, does not need as much emotional reassurance. Lastly, there were 40 questions from the Big Five Personality inventory. The current study aims to determine the impact that sleep has on a person’s romantic relationships with their partner. Results show an approaching significant result between the Conflict Within Relationships scale and the agreeableness section from the Big Five Personality Inventory. There was also a significant positive correlation between how many good nights of sleep a person got and their experience in close relationships. Results also show a positive relationship between how many good nights of sleep a person got and neuroticism. Examining relationships among sleep elements, relationship conflict, and experiences, as well as personality traits will be important to help identify factors that may contribute to a person’s lack of sleep as well as a person’s life.