The affective personality: Its relation to quality of sleep, well-being and stress
Torsten Norlander, PhD (Karlstad University, Sweden), Asa Johansson (Karlstad University, Sweden), and Sven-Ake Bood, PhD (Karlstad University, Sweden), 2005, 33(7), 709–722

This month we welcome a new member to our Board of Consulting Editors. It is a pleasure to be working with Dr Torsten Norlander in this new capacity. For this reason, I want to feature one of the interesting research pieces that we have published by Dr Norlander.

In this article from 2005, the authors (Norlander, Johansson, and Bood) examined the relationship between some aspects of personality and sleep quality. Highlighting the importance of high quality sleep for numerous facets of our daily lives, they focused in particular on how positive or negative affect would impact on sleep, general wellbeing, and stress levels.

Findings indicated that the highest quality of sleep was among those with high positive affect and low negative affect. Also, the authors noted that positive affect was generally positively correlated with better sleep quality, even in spite of high stress levels among some. A notable conclusion drawn – due to the similarities between a patient group and healthy group in levels of affect and general wellbeing – was the following (p. 719):

… affective personality appears to be a basic and relatively stable personality trait not easily affected by diminished health, but with a strong influence on a series of health-related variables such as sleep quality, circadian rhythm, depression, stress, energy, and dispositional optimism.

Because there are such strong connections between sleep quality and aspects of wellbeing, including a general improvement in quality of life when sleep quality is high, it seems inevitable, and valuable, that this will remain the subject of ongoing investigation by psychologists and others. Similarly, the pressing interest of the general public will no doubt keep the topic in discussion and debate, as people everywhere strive for a better night’s sleep!

Alex Cheyne | Managing Editor
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal