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Sleep for Healthy Thoughts

Posted on Aug. 11, 2016, 6 a.m. in Sleep Mental Health

Late evenings, short sleep may promote repetitive negative thoughts.

People tend to have repetitive negative thinking when they have bothersome pessimistic thoughts that seem to repeat in their minds. Previous studies have linked sleep problems with such repetitive negative thoughts, especially in cases where someone does not get enough sleep.  Jacob A. Nota, from Binghamton University (New York, USA), and colleagues assessed 100 college-age adults to ascertain how much the students worry, ruminate or obsess about something – three measures by which repetitive negative thinking is gauged. The students were also asked whether they were more habitual morning or evening types, preferring to hold regular hours or to have a sleep-wake schedule that is more skewed towards later in the day.   Observing that: “[Repetitive negative thinking] was associated with shorter sleep duration and delayed sleep timing. Individuals who endorsed a preference for later sleep and activity times also reported more [repetitive negative thinking],” the study authors submit that: “These findings suggest that [repetitive negative thinking] may be uniquely related to both sleep duration and timing. “

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Nota, J.A. & Coles, M.E. “Duration and Timing of Sleep are Associated with Repetitive Negative Thinking."  Cognitive Therapy and Research, Dec. 2014.

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