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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology & Health on July 31, 2019, available online:


Objective: The present study examined forgiveness of others, self-forgiveness, sleep, and health in a nationally representative sample of United States adults. It was hypothesised that sleep would mediate the associations of forgiveness of others and self-forgiveness with health.

Design: A nationally representative survey of 1,423 United States adults.

Main Outcome Measures: Measures included forgiveness of others, self-forgiveness, sleep quantity, sleep quality, psychological distress, life satisfaction, and self-rated physical health.

Results: Forgiveness of others (β = .20, p < .001) and self-forgiveness (β = .11, p < .01) were associated with sleep and forgiveness of others (β = .24, p < .001) and self-forgiveness (β = .27, p < .001) were associated with health. Sleep was associated with health (β = .45, p < .001) and also acted as a mediator of the associations of forgiveness of others (β = .09, p < .01) and self-forgiveness (β = .05, p < .01) with health.

Conclusions: Forgiveness of others and self-forgiveness may attenuate emotions such as anger, regret, and rumination and provide a buffer between one’s own and others’ offenses occurring during the day and offer a restful mental state that supports sound sleep which, in turn, is associated with better health.