Walsh NA, Repa LM, Garland SN. Mindful larks and lonely owls: The relationship between chronotype, mental health, sleep quality, and social support in young adults. J Sleep Res. 2021 Jul 16:e13442. doi: 10.1111/jsr.13442. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34272788.
Chronotype is related to mental health, with evening chronotypes being more susceptible to psychological disorders than intermediate and morning types. The present study investigated the relationship between chronotype, mental health, sleep quality, and social support in Canadian young adults. We surveyed 3160 university students aged 18-35 years. Participants completed the Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and the Medical Outcomes Study – Social Support Survey. We conducted Bonferroni-corrected one-way analyses of covariance with post hoc paired comparisons to determine the relationship between the aforementioned variables, with age and sex as covariates. We further looked at the moderation of social support on the relationship between chronotype and sleep quality. Overall, 55%, 36% and 9% of participants were classified as intermediate, evening and morning types, respectively. There was a significant difference between chronotype on levels of depression, anxiety, and sleep quality, with evening types reporting more severe symptomology than morning-types and intermediate types. Morning types reported greater levels of overall social support and mindfulness. Evening types reported the lowest levels of all types of social support. Social support did not moderate the relationship between chronotype and sleep quality. This study further demonstrates the association between worse psychological well-being and eveningness and between more social support, and mindfulness in morning chronotype young adults. Education and intervention are warranted to help evening chronotypes manage the potential negative features of their circadian rhythm, as well as to cultivate a greater sense of social support and mindfulness.
© 2021 European Sleep Research Society.