Objectives: There is ample evidence that mindfulness contributes to psychological well-being. There is also evidence that mindfulness can improve sleep, and previous research has suggested that the positive effects of mindfulness on well-being may depend on its capacity to decrease sleep disturbances. However, it is possible that a third factor that is affected by mindfulness may in turn affect both sleep quality and well-being. Given the well-known protective effects of mindfulness on stress and the influence of stress on both sleep disturbance and well-being, stress represents a strong candidate for such a mediational role. Methods: We collected cross-sectional data on mindfulness, stress, sleep disturbance, and well-being in a sample of adults taken from the general population, and then we applied structural equation modeling to analyze the relationships between a set of latent variables. Results: Our results confirm that mindfulness is negatively related to stress and this effect fully mediates the positive relationship between mindfulness and both sleep quality and well-being. Furthermore, our results show that if the effect of stress is taken into account, sleep quality does not mediate the influence of mindfulness on well-being and in fact does not relate to well-being at all. Conclusions: Our study points to the central role of stress reduction in explaining the beneficial effects of mindfulness on both behavioral and psychological variables. © 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
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