Relationship satisfaction moderates links between poor sleep quality and psychological distress among couples coping with type 1 diabetes

Published:October 25, 2022DOI:



      We examined links between sleep quality and psychological distress among couples dealing with type 1 diabetes (T1D) across cross-sectional and daily diary methods and investigated whether relationship satisfaction moderated these associations.


      199 persons with T1D and their spouses completed survey questionnaires reporting their own sleep quality, depressive symptoms, and relationship satisfaction. They also completed 14-day diaries reporting their own sleep quality and negative affect. Multi-level actor-partner interdependence models examined associations between sleep quality and psychological distress.


      Cross-sectional and daily diary data revealed an association between poorer sleep quality and higher psychological distress for both persons with T1D and their spouses (ie, actor effects). Some partner effects were found. For example, poorer sleep quality of persons with T1D was associated with greater negative affect for spouses (within persons). Relationship satisfaction moderated the effects of sleep quality on psychological distress. For example, participants’ poorer overall daily sleep quality was associated with greater negative affect for those with lower relationship satisfaction but not for those with higher relationship satisfaction (ie, actor effects). In contrast, partners’ poorer overall daily sleep quality was associated with participants’ greater negative affect for those with higher relationship satisfaction but not for those with lower relationship satisfaction (ie, partner-effects).


      Links between sleep quality and psychological distress occur both within and between persons. Relationship satisfaction moderates the effect of poorer sleep quality on psychological distress in a nuanced way.


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