Can Optimism Improve your Sleep?

Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Sleep is an essential need in our lives. We know that. However, sleep deprivation is a growing epidemic. In fact, around 30% of adults in the United States do not get an adequate amount of sleep for optimal health. A lack of healthy sleep is associated with multiple unhealthy outcomes including greater odds of obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and an elevated risk for all-cause mortality.

There are many ways to get better sleep: limited screen time before bed, regular exercise, etc. However, a new study published in the journal Behavioral Medicine suggests that there may be another way to get better sleep at night: optimism. Optimism is associated with better health outcomes and has emerged as a psychological advantage for disease-free survival and superior health. However, limited work has examined whether optimism is associated with better quality sleep.

Results of the Study: Optimists 74% Less Likely To Have Insomnia

Participants with higher scores of optimism were also more likely to sleep for 6-9 hours each night and 74% less likely to have insomnia. “Results from this study revealed significant associations between optimism and various characteristics of self-reported sleep after adjusting for a wide array of variables, including sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, and depressive symptoms. Optimists are more likely to engage in active problem-focused coping and to interpret stressful events in more positive ways, reducing worry and ruminative thoughts when they’re falling asleep and throughout their sleep cycle,” concludes Dr. Hernandez.

However, the findings are purely observational. This study leads to speculation on a possible mechanism that may explain these results.

What do you guys think, does optimism lead to better sleep?

-Tahmid Islam

Co-founder and Chief Editor of STEMTalksNC

For more information on the design of the study:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08964289.2019.1575179

 

 

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