Going to sleep earlier could boost happiness

Going to sleep earlier could boost happiness

The time you go to bed, and sleep duration, might actually affect worrying and stress.

Jacob Nota and Meredith Coles from Binghamton University in the New York found that people with shorter sleep duration and later bed times are often plagued with more negative thoughts than those with regular sleep habits.

The study was published in the Springer journal Cognitive Therapy and Research.

People are believed to have repetitive negative and pessimistic thoughts. Sometimes it feels like they have little control over their thoughts. People also often worry about the future, revisit the past in their mind, and become victim to many intrusive thoughts. These types of thoughts are often associated with psychological conditions like major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more. These persons also often have sleep disorders.

Nota and Coles asked 100 young adults at Binghamton University to complete some questionnaires and computerized tests. During the process, they measured how much the students worried, ruminated, and obsessed over something — three measures that are typically used to gauge repetitive thinking.

The research team found that those who slept for less time and went to bed later often experience more repetitive negative thoughts than others.

Making sure that sleep is obtained during the right time of day may be an inexpensive and easily disseminable intervention for individuals who are bothered by intrusive thoughts,” explains Nota.

The findings also suggest that repetitive negative thinking may cause sleep disruption.

If further findings support the relation between sleep timing and repetitive negative thinking, this could one day lead to a new avenue for treatment of individuals with internalizing disorders,” adds Coles. “Studying the relation between reductions in sleep duration and psychopathology has already demonstrated that focusing on sleep in the clinic also leads to reductions in symptoms of psychopathology,” she adds.

Here are the recommended hours of sleep we should get throughout our lifetime, according to the National Sleep Foundation:

Infants: up to 16 hours total, including naps
Toddlers (1-3 yrs): 12-14 hours, including naps
Preschool (3-5 yrs): 11-13 hours, most do not nap after age 5
School-age (5-12 yrs): 10-11 hours
Teens: 8.5-9.5 hours
Adults: 7-9 hours

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Just Go to Bed Earlier.” Springer. Springer, 4 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
2. “Duration and Timing of Sleep Are Associated with Repetitive Negative Thinking.” Springer. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 01 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
3. “How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?National Sleep Foundation. National Sleep Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.

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