Poor sleep can lead to anxiety
How long you sleep and what time you go to bed could lead to anxiety and negative thinking, according to new research.
Study leaders at Binghamton University in New York found that people who went to bed very late at night and slept for a brief number of hours were more likely to be “overwhelmed with more negative thoughts,” than people who kept more regular sleep habits.
This isn’t the first time research has been done on the connection between sleep and anxiety, but the Binghamton team wanted to find out if the actual time someone hits the hay makes a difference.
“When you go to bed, and how long you sleep at a time, might actually make it difficult for you to stop worrying,” said study authors Jacob Nota and Meredith Coles in a statement.
For the study, 100 university students were surveyed about how often they “worry, ruminate or obsess about something,” and about their sleeping habits and patterns.
The results showed that those who sleep for shorter periods of time and go to bed later are more prone to have troubling, repeating, thoughts that seem beyond their control. They tended to be worried about the future and feel regret about past life events.
Study leaders hope their report leads to better treatment for anxiety and mood disorders as people move to more regular and longer sleep cycles.
“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,” they said.
Poor sleeping habits can not only affect your mental health but physical too, experts say.
“Sleep disorders are a serious health issue and have been proven to increase a patient’s risk of heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and related conditions,” says Dr. Adam Posner, medical director of the Advocate Condell Medical Center sleep centers in Libertyville, Ill. “The most common problems include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy.”
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.