Pessimistic and Optimistic Attitudes Can Affect Sleep Quality, Really?

Quality sleep is determined by various factors. Through recent research, it is also said that one's pessimistic and optimistic attitude can affect one's sleep quality.

There are several things that can improve sleep quality. Starting from buying a new mattress that is comfortable and in accordance with the condition of the body, limiting alcohol consumption at night, regular exercise, and the atmosphere of the bedroom is suitable for a good night's sleep.

According to one study, there may be other ways that can help you improve sleep quality, which is an optimistic attitude or tendency.

The link between optimism and sleep quality

Research published recently in the journal "Behavioral Medicine" found that an optimist tends to be able to sleep better. This finding is based on previous research, which suggests that optimism makes "adherents" have better heart health.

The team studied 3,548 participants aged 32-51 years who participated in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. Participants are non-Hispanic race and adult African American race who live in several regions of the United States (US).

To assess the level of optimism of the participants, the research team asked them to respond to several statements using a five-point Likert scale, from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree".

Positive statements available for example, "I am always optimistic about the future", and negative ones like, "I almost never expect things to go according to plan". Survey scores collected ranged from 6-30. A score of 30 is the most optimistic.

As part of the CARDIA study, participants reported twice the quality of their sleep in a span of 5 years. They also must mention the duration of their usual hours of sleep and symptoms of insomnia.

Some participants also filled in the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and they used an activity monitor that objectively measured how long they slept soundly, and how long they felt restless.

Optimists are less likely to experience insomnia

The study found that participants with higher optimism scores tended to sleep for 6-9 hours each night and were 74 percent less likely to experience insomnia.

"The results of this study reveal a significant relationship between optimism and various self-reported sleep characteristics after adjusting for various variables, including sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, and depressive symptoms," Dr. Rosalba Hernandez, assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign School of Social Work, USA, lead author of the study was quoted as saying in Medical News Today.

He also said that poor sleep quality was a public health problem, considering that it was related to diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and other illnesses.

"Optimism appears as a prominent psychological asset for disease-free survival and better health," Dr. Rosalba.

Although the research findings were observational, the research team speculated on the possibility of a mechanism that could explain the link between optimism and sleep quality.

"People who are optimistic are more likely to be involved in dealing with problems or stressful situations more positively, reducing anxiety before going to sleep and during the sleep cycle," Dr. Rosalba concluded.

Another way to get quality sleep

Experts recommend that everyone get sleep at least 7-8 hours a day. If it is lacking, especially if it has lasted a long time, health problems can occur both physically and mentally.

"Sleeping less than 7 hours per day can have adverse effects on health, including weight gain, blood pressure, risk of heart disease, premature aging, and emotional disturbances," said Dr. Sepriani Timurtini Limbong from KlikDokter.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the same sleep quality. You are among those who have difficulty falling asleep or you are among those who are realistic (read: less optimistic), do the steps below to improve sleep quality.

  • Stop consuming caffeine in the afternoon until the evening.
  •     Regular exercise.
  •     Avoid cigarettes and alcohol.
  •     Set your sleep pattern: sleep and wake up at the same time each day, including holidays.
  •     Don't take long naps.
  •     Create a conducive bedroom atmosphere, for example sleeping in a dark condition or using a light sleep with drinking light, adjust the temperature of the room, comfortable beds and blankets, turn on aromatherapy, and others.
  •     Do not use and keep the smartphone or other electronic devices out of range, set to silent mode.
  •     Avoid using sleeping pills, especially without doctor's advice.
  •     Positive thinking.

For optimists, rejoice that optimism might affect sleep quality for the better. And for those of you who are pessimistic, at least do the above methods to get quality sleep, so that physical and mental health is maintained.

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