Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair

Second Advisor

Stephen R Poteau, PhD

Third Advisor

Meghan Carney Richetti, PsyD


Research has indicated that sleep problems are prevalent in college students. Current studies show that over half of college students report that they are poor-quality sleepers. The consequences of poor sleep quality include increased stress, substance use, and mental health issues. Poor sleep hygiene is one of the many factors that contribute to poor sleep quality in college students. Although research has identified contributing factors and consequences of sleep problems in college students, less attention has been given to factors that may serve as a buffer against the effects of poor sleep quality. This study introduces and discusses self-compassion as an attitude that may serve as a protective factor for the consequences of poor sleep quality. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between self-compassion, sleep quality, perceived stress, and sleep hygiene. Another aim was to determine if self-compassion moderates the relationship between sleep quality and perceived stress. The results of this study indicate that there is a significant relationship between self-compassion and perceived stress. As self-compassion increases, perceived stress decreases, which is consistent with previous self-compassion research. However, self-compassion was not associated with sleep quality, and sleep quality was not associated with perceived stress. Therefore, it was not possible to explore self-compassion as a moderator of variables that are not associated with each other. A weak positive association between self-compassion and sleep hygiene was identified, signifying that greater self-compassion is associated with poorer sleep hygiene. This result was unexpected, and the direction of the relationship was likely influenced by the unique characteristics of the graduate and medical student sample.