According to a new research study, it’s optimism, not counting sheep, that is the key to getting a good night’s sleep!
Researchers from the University of Illinois found that the level of one’s optimism is linked to how well we sleep at night. In other words, the more silver linings you see, versus dark clouds, could make all the difference in how rested you are during the day.
Waking Up on The Right Side of The Bed
We’ve all been there at 2 AM, staring at the ceiling, wondering if and when we’ll fall back to sleep. Could sweet dreams really be as easy as looking on the sunny side of life?
According to the study findings, the answer is a resounding yes! Lead researcher Rosalba Hernandez found “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.”
For Americans, a lack of sleep is a real problem, with nearly 33% of adults reporting that they do not get an adequate amount of sleep each night on a continual basis. If it sounds as if being upbeat is a ridiculously simple antidote to sleeplessness, consider this: numbers don’t lie.
Nearly 4,000 adult subjects participated in the study, which took place over a five year period. That is an amazing amount of scientific data for researchers to be able to comb through.
What they found was that with each measured increase in a participant’s optimism score, their chances of experiencing a good night’s sleep increased by a whopping 78%.
Additionally, positive individuals were three times as likely to report zero instances of insomnia or daytime drowsiness.
Overall, the study found that individuals with higher levels of optimism were significantly more likely to enjoy regular sleep patterns, averaging six to nine hours of sleep each night.
While the study team is not 100% sure why a positive mindset resulted in better sleep, they hypothesized that optimism may reduce the adverse effects of stress on the mind, leading to a more relaxed mental state.
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