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Stressful Life Event Effect on Sleep and Emotion Regulation

High levels of stress can negatively impact both physical and mental health. Emotion regulation is critical for coping adaptively with stress. Research studies have shown that stressful events may disrupt sleep, which in turn may decrease positive affect and increase negative affect, which may be products of emotion regulation success. The relationship between perceived stress and emotion regulation has not been examined when looking at sleep as a mediator. Using a dataset examining self-reported physical health and positive and negative affect in the aftermath of a stressful life event, we will examine relationships between perceived stress, positive and negative affect (measured using the PANAS questionnaire), and sleep. We hypothesize that participants who have experienced a recent stressful life event will have lower emotion regulation success. Moreover, we predict that poor sleep will mediate the relationship between perceived stress and affective outcomes. This study will contribute to knowledge about the effects of physical health on stress and cognitive functioning, and further understanding of the importance of healthy sleep as a way of coping with stress.