Sex differences in sleep quality and psychological distress: insights from a middle-aged twin sample from Spain

Madrid-Valero, Juan J.; Kirkpatrick, Robert M.; González-Javier, Francisca; Gregory, Alice M. and Ordoñana, Juan R.. 2022. Sex differences in sleep quality and psychological distress: insights from a middle-aged twin sample from Spain. Journal of Sleep Research, ISSN 0962-1105 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

There is a moderate association between poor sleep and psychological distress. There are marked sex differences in the prevalence of both variables, with females outnumbering males. However, the origin of these sex differences remains unclear. The objectives of this study were to: (1) study genetic and environmental influences on the relationship between poor sleep quality and psychological distress; and (2) test possible sex differences in this relationship. The sample comprised 3544 participants from the Murcia Twin Registry. Univariate and multivariate twin models were fitted to estimate the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences on both individual variance and covariance between poor sleep quality and psychological distress. Sleep quality and psychological distress were measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the EuroQol five-dimensions questionnaire, respectively. The results reveal a strong genetic association between poor sleep quality and psychological distress, which accounts for 44% (95%CI: 27%–61%) of the association between these two variables. Substantial genetic (rA = 0.50; 95%CI: 0.32, 0.67) and non-shared environmental (rE = 0.41; 95%CI: 0.30, 0.52) correlations were also found, indicating a moderate overlap between genetic (and non-shared environmental) factors influencing both phenotypes. Equating sexes in sex-limitation models did not result in significant decreases in model fit. Despite the remarkable sex differences in the prevalence of both poor sleep quality and psychological distress, there were no sex differences in the genetic and environmental influences on these variables. This suggests that genetic factors play a similar role for men and women in explaining individual differences in both phenotypes and their relationship.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.13714

Additional Information:

Funding: Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades - Spain (RTI2018-095185-B-I00) co-funded by European Regional Development Fund (FEDER).

Data availability statement: Data could be made available under restrictions.

Keywords:

Psychological distress, Sleep quality, Twins

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
20 July 2022Accepted
23 August 2022Published Online

Item ID:

32046

Date Deposited:

22 Jul 2022 13:24

Last Modified:

15 Sep 2022 14:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/32046

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