Optimists sleep better

Optimists sleep better

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How does a positive basic attitude affect sleep?

Many people have trouble sleeping. There are multiple reasons for that. Researchers have now found that optimistic people generally sleep better compared to people with a negative outlook on life.

The latest study by the University of Illinois found that optimists tend to sleep longer and their sleep is of better quality. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "Behavioral Medicine".

Does optimism improve sleep quality?

78 percent of people with the most positive outlook on life assessed their sleep quality as good and slept seven to new hours a night. In addition, optimistic people were 75 percent more likely to experience no symptoms of insomnia or drowsiness during the day compared to pessimistic people. The exact mechanism of how optimism has a positive effect on sleep is not yet known. However, the researchers believe that optimism helps alleviate the effects of stress, which contributes to a more comfortable sleep.

How was the study carried out?

More than 3,500 people between the ages of 32 and 51 were examined for the study. The optimism of the participants was measured using a survey in which various statements such as “I am always optimistic about my future” were rated on a scale of one to five. The total number of points that could be achieved was between six for the most pessimistic participants and 30 for the most optimistic. To assess sleep, participants were asked to rate the total duration and quality of their sleep in the previous month. It also determined how many hours they had actually slept and whether they had insomnia or insomnia. The result of the evaluation clearly showed that optimistic people actually sleep better.

Effects of not getting enough sleep

It is often recommended that adults should sleep between seven and nine hours every night. However, many people sleep less than the recommended amount. The lack of healthy sleep is a problem for public health, as poor sleep quality is associated with numerous health problems. Poor sleep contributes to a higher risk of obesity and high blood pressure and higher all-cause mortality. The researchers explain that optimistic thinking and the belief that the future will be positive have emerged as psychological advantages that are of particular importance for disease-free survival and improved health. Optimists are more often concerned with active, problem-oriented handling and interpret stress events more positively. Optimistic people have less worries and think less about negative events when going to bed, which then has a positive effect on the entire sleep cycle, according to the researchers. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Rosalba Hernandez, Thanh-Huyen T. Vu, Kiarri N. Kershaw, Julia K. Boehm, Laura D. Kubzansky et al .: The Association of Optimism with Sleep Duration and Quality: Findings from the Coronary Artery Risk and Development in Young Adults ( CARDIA) Study, in Behavioral Medicine (query: 08.08.2019), Behavioral Medicine

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