Mood in Daily Life
Sleep is crucial for our health and wellbeing. Women are thought to have more trouble sleeping than men, but it is not yet understood why this is. The research undertaken so far has produced quite contradictory findings. This study seeks to investigate how important the effects of physical health, social support, stress, mood and biology are in determining sleep patterns in a community sample of randomly selected women aged 18-40 over a period of six weeks. Each participant will use a Palm Treo smartphone to answer a questionnaire. The questions take about 2-3 minutes to complete, and will ask her about her sleep, mood and several lifestyle behaviors in the previous 24 hours (exercise, diet and so on). Each woman will answer this questionnaire every day at the same time for six weeks; she chooses the best time of day to do this. Once she has finished answering, the results will be immediately sent back to us using the smartphone technology. Each women will also wear an actiwatch, a wrist watch-like device, that records her sleep and activity levels. She will also be asked to collect her first void of urine each morning so that we may determine her menstrual cycle phase. This method will give us accurate information from each woman, which will provide a detailed picture of her life across six weeks. In this way, we will be able see how important physical health, social support, stress, mood and biology are in determining sleep. We have already used these methods successfully to study mood in the Mood in Daily Life (MIDL) Study, which investigates the links between mood changes and physical health, social support, perceived stress and the menstrual cycle over twenty four weeks in women of reproductive age living in the Greater Toronto Area.
The Sleep and Mood in Daily Life study aims to explain how we can improve the sleep of women.