General and Specific Traits of Personality and Their Relation to Sleep and Academic Performance


  • Elizabeth Gray and David Watson, Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

  • We thank Jatin Vaidya for his help in data collection and for the development and maintenance of the website.

should be sent to Elizabeth Gray, Department of Psychology, E11 Seashore Hall, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242. Electronic mail may be sent to


ABSTRACT Few studies have examined the links between personality variables and sleep and their combined effect on specific real-world outcomes. Participants in this study completed numerous personality, sleep, and performance measures; we examined the associations among these measures. Personality was assessed using the Five-Factor Model. The personality trait of Conscientiousness (especially its facet of Achievement Striving) was a substantial predictor of academic performance. Analyses of the sleep variables revealed three distinct constructs: quantity, quality, and schedule. Sleep quantity showed few interesting correlates. In contrast, sleep quality was associated with greater well-being and improved psychological functioning, whereas sleep schedule (i.e., average rising and retiring times) was significantly related to Conscientiousness, such that conscientious individuals maintain earlier schedules.