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We report the relationship between daily rest-activity patterns and trait impulsivity in healthy young adults. The Barratt Impulsiveness Scale was used to identify high and low impulsive individuals among a group of 51 volunteers. Participants' sleep behaviour and circadian rhythm function was assessed using week-long actigraphy. High impulsive individuals displayed phase-delayed patterns of sleep, a decreased total sleep time and sleep efficiency, and disrupted circadian function. Such outcomes were also associated with greater self-reported attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms. The results highlight that sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances may be associated with impulsive traits replicating relationships described in psychiatric illnesses in which impulsivity is a core feature.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychiatry Res

Publication Date





251 - 256


ADHD, Actigraphy, Circadian rhythm, Delayed sleep phase, Impulsivity, Sleep, Actigraphy, Adult, Circadian Rhythm, Female, Humans, Impulsive Behavior, Male, Personality, Sleep, Young Adult