People who go to sleep later tend to experience more repetitive negative thinking, research finds.
Those who go to bed later also get more overwhelmed with negative thoughts than those who keep more regular sleeping hours.
People who experience repetitive negative thinking typically feel they have little control over it.
They worry too much about both the future and the past, and the thoughts tend to intrude into everyday life.
These intrusive thoughts are linked to depression, anxiety disorder, OCD and social anxiety disorder.
For more on how to escape anxiety, learn about my anxiety ebook.
Mr Jacob Nota, the study’s first author, said:
“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.”
Professor Meredith E. Coles, the study’s co-author, said:
“If further findings support the relation between sleep timing and repetitive negative thinking, this could one day lead to a new avenue for treatment of individuals with internalizing disorders.
Studying the relation between reductions in sleep duration and psychopathology has already demonstrated that focusing on sleep in the clinic also leads to reductions in symptoms of psychopathology.”
The study was published in the journal Cognitive Therapy and Research (Nota & Coles, 2014).
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
→ Dr Jeremy Dean’s ebook is “The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic“