Zendels, P., Ruggiero, A., & Gaultney, J. F. (2021). Gender differences affecting the relationship between sleep attitudes, sleep behaviors and sleep outcomes. Cogent Psychology. https://doi.org/doi:10.1080/23311908.2021.1979713
Research has found that discrepancies exist in many health-related behaviors, leading to discrepancies in health outcomes, between men and women. Among these, women tend to have more positive attitudes towards sleep and better sleep hygiene practices despite often having poorer sleep quality and insufficient sleep duration. The present study operationalized sleep hygiene as multi-faceted behaviors rather than a unitary construct. Using the PROCESS macro, we analyzed whether an interaction exists between gender and sleep attitudes to predict sleep hygiene, if sleep hygiene mediated the relationship between sleep attitudes and sleep outcomes, and if this indirect relationship is moderated by gender. Within our sample, gender moderated sleep attitudes predicting environment- and eating-related sleep hygiene behaviors. Sleep quality was indirectly predicted by sleep attitudes via pre-sleep arousal-related sleep hygiene behaviors. Additionally, gender moderated the indirect relationship between sleep attitudes and sleep quality through environment-related sleep hygiene behaviors. These findings reinforce the relevance of studying sleep attitudes in combination with demographic characteristics as predictors of sleep outcomes, and the usefulness of conceptualizing sleep hygiene as separable factors. It may help inform development of potential interventions intended to improve sleep and suggest directions for future studies.