Study finds negative people are more likely to sleep poorly

health 15/08/2019

If you're finding that you are having poor sleep often, then maybe it is time to chill out, take a step back and focus on your outlook on life.

If you find yourself dwelling on how life is around you, complaining about mundane things and finding it hard to be grateful about anything, then it may be time to have a bit of an attitude adjustment. Scientists say it may just help you sleep better.

Researchers from the University of Illinois analysed the nocturnal habits of more than 3,500 adults aged between 32-51. The participants were made to regularly fill in a survey to record the length and overall quality of their sleep, as well as any symptoms of insomnia or difficulty dozing off.

To measure their positivity levels throughout the experiment, they rated out of 5 how much they agreed with certain statements. These included, “I’m always optimistic about my future” and “I hardly expect things to go my way.”

In addition, a portion of the group wore activity monitors for three consecutive days on two separate occasions. These tracked the participant’s sleep duration, per cent of time asleep and restlessness while sleeping.

Interestingly, the data showed that that the individuals with greater levels of optimism were more likely to report that they got adequate shut-eye (slumbering six to nine hours per night.) They were also 74 per cent more likely to have no symptoms of insomnia and less daytime sleepiness.

“Our results revealed significant associations between optimism and various characteristics of self-reported sleep after adjusting for a wide array of variables, including socio-demographic characteristics, health conditions and depressive symptoms,” the study’s lead author and Professor Rosalba Hernandez said.

“The lack of healthy sleep is a public health concern, as poor sleep quality is associated with multiple health problems, including higher risks of obesity, hypertension and all-cause mortality.

“Dispositional optimism — the belief that positive things will occur in the future — has emerged as a psychological asset of particular salience for disease-free survival and superior health.”