Going to Sleep Early Might Help You Worry Less, Be Happier

Do you have trouble with repetitive negative thoughts? Do you go to sleep late at night and sleep in short intervals? A newly published study has found that going to sleep late, and sleeping in short intervals can increase worrying and anxiety.


Restful Sleep is the Goal!

When you go to bed, and how long you sleep at a time, might actually make it difficult for you to stop worrying. So say Jacob Nota and Meredith Coles of Binghamton University in the US, who found that people who sleep for shorter periods of time and go to bed very late at night are often overwhelmed with more negative thoughts than those who keep more regular sleeping hours.

People are said to have repetitive negative thinking when they have bothersome pessimistic thoughts that seem to repeat in their minds. They feel as though they have little control over these contemplations. They also tend to worry excessively about the future, delve too much into the past, and experience annoying intrusive thoughts. Such thoughts are often typical of people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder. These individuals also tend to have sleep problems.”*

Okay, not sure which of these disorders I have, but I do know that when I’m deep in thought over a problem I’m trying to solve or a situation I’m trying to sort out, I do wake up once or twice during the night thinking about it. I also notice that when I do go to sleep early and get a full night of restful sleep, without interruptions, I am much more calm and peaceful the next day. There is something to this!

The researchers found that people who sleep for shorter periods of time and go to bed later (may develop or) often (do) experience more repetitive negative thoughts than others. This was also true for those students who described themselves as evening types.

My routine is to decide what time I need to awaken, which is 4:45 am most mornings, then count back 8 hours to 8:45 pm, and head for bed around 8:30 pm.

I might also use some “sleep hygiene” techniques of no electronics an hour before, not eating a few hours before, reading something calming or inspirational, or planning out my next day, within the hour before going to bed. Make sure your bed is comfortable, you are relaxed, take a few sips of water, then off to dreamland! Truly, getting a full night of restful sleep every night is a good habit to develop to help prevent anxiety and depression.

(If you do have trouble going to sleep, you might try a melatonin sleep aid like Lifeoxydream Sleep Mist. One or two spritz, turn off the lights, and nighty night!)


*Jacob A. Nota, Meredith E. Coles. Duration and Timing of Sleep are Associated with Repetitive Negative Thinking. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 2014; DOI: 10.1007/s10608-014-9651-7

About Candace

Candy Dye is a Nurse Practitioner and teacher that loves everything about health, wellness, looking beautiful, and being with people who enjoy life and love to have fun!

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