Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Walter Buboltz


College is a time of adjustment when many students have a newfound responsibility for many aspects of their lives, including sleep habits and patterns. College students often have sleep schedules that vary greatly, which can result in sleep disturbances. Previous research indicates that college students report significantly more sleep disturbances than the general population. Poor sleep quality has been linked to myriad psychological, physiological, and cognitive difficulties, including mood and anxiety disorders, cardiovascular disease, and poor academic performance. Oftentimes, sleep disturbances can be corrected with basic psychological interventions. Considering the deleterious effects that poor sleep can have on college students, it behooves researchers to identify variables that are related to poor sleep. An area that has not been fully explored in the literature is the relationship between sleep and personality. The purpose of this study was to further clarify this relationship, and identify selected personality characteristics of college students that relate to poor sleep. This relationship was assessed using the Sleep Quality Index, a sleep habits questionnaire, and the Sixteen Personality Factors Questionnaire. Results indicate that a relationship exists between both sleep quality and delayed weekend wake times, and selected personality characteristics. Overall, it was found that people who have poor sleep quality are less emotionally stable, less self-assured, and less observing of rules and regulations. Additionally, they are more skeptical of the motives of others, more oriented to internal processes, have higher trait anxiety, and are less grounded and practical. The results also indicated that those who wake significantly later on the weekends, compared to weekdays, are less emotionally stable and less obedient of rules and regulations. Additionally, they are less practical, tend to daydream, and are more impulsive and reckless. Results indicate only a very weak relationship between sleep length and personality. These findings have implications for those who work with college students that may lead to a decrease in sleep difficulties. Psychologists may be able to use this information to differentiate between sleep hygiene problems and sleep disturbances related to psychological difficulties. Furthermore, psychologists can use this information to identify problem areas related to personality that are affecting both psychological well being and sleep difficulties, and subsequently choose interventions that targets these specific problems.