Study Reports Link between Short Sleep Duration and Repetitive Negative Thoughts

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Researcher from Binghamton University of New York reported on January 2018 that sleeping less than eight hours a night is associated with anxiety or depression.

Binghamton University Professor of Psychology Meredith Coles and former graduate student Jacob Nota assessed the timing and duration of sleep in individuals with moderate to high levels of repetitive negative thoughts. Participants of the study were exposed to different pictures intended to trigger an emotional response. Attention of the participants were tracked through their eye movements. It was observed that regular sleep disruptions are associated with negative thoughts, which suggests that adequate sleep lead to negative intrusive thoughts.

“We found that people in this study have some tendencies to have thoughts get stuck in their heads, and their elevated negative thinking makes it difficult for them to disengage with the negative stimuli that we exposed them to,” said Coles. “While other people may be able to receive negative information and move on, the participants had trouble ignoring it.” Further research is in progress to evaluate the effect of timing and duration of sleep on maintenance of psychological disorders.

According to Anxiety Disorders and Depression Treatments Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, anxiety can affect daily activities such as school work, relationships, and job performance. The anxiety related disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Findings of the study allow psychologists to treat anxiety and depression by shifting patients’ sleep cycles to a healthier time or making it more likely a patient will sleep when they get in bed.

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