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Sleep Locus of Control Differences in Undergraduates Sleep Beliefs and Quality

David Igbokwe*

Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

*Corresponding Author:
Igbokwe D Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: October 21, 2021; Accepted Date: November 04, 2021; Published Date: November 11, 2021

Citation: Igbokwe D (2021) Sleep Locus of Control Differences in Undergraduates Sleep Beliefs and Quality. Clin Psychiatry Vol.7 No. S6: e001.

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Sleep is a pervasive human behaviour which has been generally seen as occupying about one third of human life. The degree to which one either believes that they possess control over their sleep and its outcomes, or otherwise, has come to be known as sleep locus of control. A key component of Social Learning Theory is the notion that individuals seek to maximise their reinforcement and thus, would engage in behaviour with the highest potential for a desired outcome, or reinforcement. The appraisal of the likelihood of a behaviour achieving the desired outcome is referred to as expectancy. Having a high expectancy requires that people believe in their capability to enact the requisite behaviour effectively, and that the behaviour will result in the desired outcome. Both of these in turn depend on the life history of learning and experiences of individuals. A behaviour that has over time successfully led to reinforcement, the stronger the expectancy that the behaviour would achieve the outcome. There is also the expectancy for the control of reinforcement, the generalized expectancy for the control of reinforcement, or locus of control for short, which refers to people’s general beliefs about the determinants of reinforcement.

Thus, social learning, life history, and control theories provide the basis for understanding insomnia. The autonomic mechanism maintains the constancy of our internal environment. Alteration in set-points reflects neural adaptive control of regulatory levels that are in sync with physio-logical demands. Sleep-wake homeostasis typifies such biologic set-points. It is a mechanism that generates homeostatic pressure for sleep in relation to the amount, quality, and time elapsed since the last sleep episode. Thoughts and beliefs about sleep are capable of impacting the homeostatic pressure for sleep. Uncertainty of sleep outcome would entail a shift towards external locus of control, and accompanying stress and negative sleep beliefs, perceived as threat by the brain, would encourage arousal aimed at fighting off the threat located within the environment in order to ensure the survival of the organism. Conversely, predictability of adequate and desired sleep would result in shifts toward internal locus of control, due to the reinforcement derived from successful planning, coordination, and execution of decisions. This would encourage a homeostatic pressure that is directed towards sleep.

Sleep beliefs refer to the beliefs, attitudes, expectations, appraisals and attributions which individuals hold about sleep, SLOC on the other hand refers to the individual’s personal beliefs about the locus of control of sleep that they have formed from experience. Therefore, sleep beliefs form the basis for generalized expectancies about sleep, i.e. locus of control.

A person’s sleep quality may be affected by factors such as sleep quantity, sleep habits, beliefs about sleep and attribution of events related to sleep. Poor sleep quality negatively impacts school performance. Poor sleep quality reflecting sometimes in sleep debt is linked with impairments in various domains including numerous aspects of cognition, enhances problematic behaviours like swearing, deviancy and disadvantageous behaviours online. Poor sleep quality is worsening among young people world over especially in the US where it is well documented. With all the negative behavioural issues and health outcome associated with poor sleep quality, it is almost self-evident to highlight that good and satisfactory sleep has a vital role to play in the physical, mental and intellectual development of children and young people.


Adults with chronic sleep insomnia who have internal locus of control orientation also manifested higher sleep-related anxiety. It has also been found that students with internal locus of control did not manifest general mood state disturbance while those with external locus of control did after sleep loss. Due to their distorted ideas about sleep, individuals with dysfunctional beliefs about sleep are more likely to suffer from insomnia and have poor sleep quality. An important factor to inadequate sleep, sleep interruption and by implication, poor sleep quality and sleep insufficiency is young people’s use of technology around bedtime. Since poor sleep quality leads to impaired performance and attention the next day, it is imperative to assess the sleep quality of undergraduate’s vis-à-vis their beliefs about sleep.

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