Using experience sampling to examine the interaction between sleep and wakefulness in mental health science
Mulligan LD., Haddock G., Littlewood D., Kyle SD.
Sleep disturbance is a quintessential transdiagnostic process, implicated in the development and maintenance of several mental health problems. Over the past twenty years, there has been a burgeoning interest in the study of sleep and its bidirectional relationship with psychopathology. Sleep inherently lends itself to study using the Experience Sampling Methodology (ESM) given its temporal nature (i.e. sleep occurs each night and has next-day consequences). Therefore, incorporating sleep measurement within ESM protocols facilitates a unique opportunity to examine the interaction between sleep and wakefulness on a micro-scale. In this chapter, the authors present the rationale for including sleep variables in ESM research. The authors also provide an overview of existing studies utilising ESM to examine temporal relationships between sleep and selected mental health difficulties. They then discuss the practical aspects of integrating sleep measures into ESM in terms of methodological design, measurement of sleep variables, equipment choice, assessment schedules and execution of the ESM procedure, informed by recent developments in the field of sleep research. Finally, the authors outline the potential challenges of measuring sleep longitudinally and provide guidance on how these might be overcome in future ESM studies.