Whether it's a power nap or a deep, restful nights sleep, nothing is quite as satisfying as waking up refreshed and ready to face the day. Sleep is a key aspect to our bodies energizing and regenerating properties. Our brain undergoes a complex collaborative effort between areas such as the thalamus, pineal gland, basal forebrain, and hypothalamus to regulate and assist in sleep stages, circadian rhythms, and the sleep-wake homeostasis. With daily distractions, endless to-do lists, and caffeine amounts to accomplish such tasks, we often need any tricks we can find to help improve the length and quality of our sacred time for shut eye.
In research led by professor of social work Rosalba Hernandez of the University of Illinois, more than 3,500 participants between the ages of 32-51 completed a study involving optimistic thought patterns and sleep quality. Participants recorded their sleep habits via a survey which reflected their levels of insomnia, hours of sleep, and difficulty falling asleep. Their optimism was recorded on a 10-item survey in which they chose their level of agreement with negative statements such as "I hardly expect things to go my way" or positive statements "I'm always optimistic about my future".
Results concluded with optimistic participants reporting 78% higher odds of very good quality sleep, were 74% less likely to have symptoms of insomnia and daytime sleepiness, and consistently reported higher rates of hours slept. Researchers believe that optimistic thinking can be used as a coping mechanism for stress, as optimists are more likely to engage in problem-focused coping and viewing stressful events in a more positive light. Ultimately, healthier coping can lead to less worrisome and ruminative thought patterns, a common detriment to sleep for pessimists.
When it comes to sleep, viewing the glass half full may help you achieve the sleep and sweet dreams that you deserve.