Investigating sleep, stress, and mood dynamics via temporal network analysis

D. Gage Jordan, Danica C. Slavish, Jessee Dietch, Brett Messman, Camilo Ruggero, Kimberly Kelly, Daniel J. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective/Background: Prior research has emphasized the bidirectional relationships between sleep, stress, and affective states, such as depression. Given the inherent variability and fluctuations associated with sleep, assessing how sleep and affective variables function within a dynamic system may help further uncover possible causes and consequences of sleep disturbances, as well as find candidate targets for intervention. To this end, we examined dynamic relationships between self-reported stress, depressed mood, and clinically-relevant sleep parameters via temporal network analysis. Methods: Participants were 401 nurses (92% female, 78% White, Mage = 39.47 years) who completed 14 days of sleep diaries incorporating self-reported stress and depression, as well as total sleep time, sleep efficiency, sleep onset latency, and wake after sleep onset. Results and conclusions: Overall, total sleep time emerged as a highly influential variable in the context of “outstrength centrality,” meaning total sleep time had numerous outward connections with other variables (e.g., stress and sleep efficiency). The high outstrength centrality of total sleep time suggests this variable is a source of activation within this dynamic system. Conversely, stress showed high “instrength centrality,” suggesting this variable was highly impacted by other variables in the system, such as depressed mood and sleep efficiency. These findings emphasize the importance of assessing unfolding sleep processes within a naturalistic setting, and implicate the role of total sleep time in fueling depressed mood and stress. Discussion emphasizes implications of these results for understanding the connections between sleep, stress, and depression as well as clinical relevance of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSleep Medicine
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Complexity
  • Depression
  • Network analysis
  • Sleep diaries
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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