Sleep quality and duration are associated with greater trait emotional intelligence

William D.S. Killgore, John R. Vanuk, Michelle R. Persich, Sara A. Cloonan, Michael A. Grandner, Natalie S. Dailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Prior work suggests that short sleep and total sleep deprivation are associated with reduced trait Emotional Intelligence (trait EI) but not reduced ability Emotional Intelligence (ability EI). To expand this knowledge base, we investigated the role of habitual sleep quality on trait and ability EI above and beyond the known effects of recent sleep duration. Methods: A large sample, comprising 477 healthy adults completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue; trait EI), and Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Scale (MSCEIT; ability EI). Results: Bivariate correlation and multiple linear regression showed that recent sleep duration and PSQI sleep quality each independently predicted higher trait EI scores, including Emotionality, Self-Control, Sociability, and Well-being, but were unrelated to ability EI scores. Conclusions: In this large community sample, recent sleep duration and habitual sleep quality both independently associated with self-perceived dispositional aspects of EI (ie, trait EI). In contrast, recent sleep duration and PSQI score were unrelated to more crystalized aspects of EI performance, which encompass the general fund of emotional information and the ability to understand and reason about emotional concepts (ie, ability EI). In sum, greater self-perceived sleep duration and quality was associated with subjective perceptions of better emotional functioning, but was unrelated to performance-based metrics of emotional reasoning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSleep Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Sleep Quality
  • Sleep Quantity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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