26 Aug The Association of Optimism with Sleep Duration and Quality.
One’s perception of how successful they will be at a task heavily relates to the outcome of that task. This can be based on prior experiences and their frame of mind going into that experience, specifically, if someone is optimistic about something or not. In a recent study published on the 24th of July, 2019 by Hernandez et al. looked at the association between one’s level of optimism and the effect it has on one’s sleep duration and quality. Their hypothesis is that greater optimism is associated with more favourable sleep quality and duration.
A total of 3548 participants were included in the study with an age range of 32-51. Levels of optimism were measured using the revised Life Orientation Test-Revised questionnaire which is a 10 item, self-administered questionnaire with questions like “I’m always optimistic about my future” and answers on a five point Likert scale ranging from “I agree a lot” to “I disagree a lot”. Sleep quality was rated via a similar self-administered questionnaire and an actigraph device the participants wore over at least two weeknights and a weekend night. The sleep quality questionnaire featured questions like “how would you rate your sleep over the past month?” with a five point Likert scale for answers.
Upon completed of the study, results showed that those who self-reported being more optimistic did enjoy better quality sleep and duration compared to those who self-reported lower levels of optimism. This study does confirm a connection between optimism and sleep quality and though the underlying factors remain unclear, one hypothesis is that optimism can directly affect one’s own coping mechanisms to cater for any adverse situations that may interfere with their overall daily functioning. This study encourages more focus on mediators such as coping strategies and lifestyle patterns and how they can directly affect the quality of one’s sleep quality and in doing so, learn more about how to improve it.