The role of self-monitoring and response inhibition in improving sleep behaviours

Jemma Todd, Barbara Mullan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


Young adults tend to have poor sleep, which may be a result of poor self-regulation.

This study investigated whether manipulating two aspects of self-regulation: self-monitoring and response inhibition could improve sleep behaviours.

University students (N = 190) were randomly allocated to complete (1) a self-monitoring sleep diary and response inhibition training, (2) a sleep diary only, or (3) a control questionnaire daily for a period of 7 days.

Outcome measures were three sleep hygiene behaviours previously found to be particularly important in this population: avoiding going to bed hungry and thirsty, avoiding anxiety and stress-provoking activity before bed, and making the bedroom and sleep environment restful. Those who completed diary-based self-monitoring successfully avoided anxiety and stress-provoking activity before bed more frequently than control participants, corresponding to a medium effect size, and further development may provide a simple intervention to improve aspects of sleep and other health behaviours.

There was no incremental effect of response inhibition training. Modified response inhibition training tasks may be worth investigating in future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-477
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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