A lack of sleep can make us feel more anxious and symptomatic, study

Feeling more anxious lately? Finding that your body is more symptomatic and is having a harder time calming down? It could be a lack of sleep.

Recent research by Binghamton University finds that when you go to bed and how long you sleep at a time can make it difficult for you to stop worrying.

Meridith Coles, director at the Binghamtom Anxiety Clinic, and graduate student, Jacob Nota, 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. The findings appear in Springer’s journal Cognitive Therapy and Research, being published this month.

The press release goes on to say:

“People are said to have repetitive negative thinking when they have bothersome pessimistic thoughts that seem to repeat in their minds without the person feeling as though he or she has much control over these contemplations. They tend to worry excessively about the future, delve too much in 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.

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

Binghamton researchers

So, if you are feeling more anxious, experiencing more symptoms, and having a harder time shutting off worry, getting some rest and good sleep might make a difference. While getting good sleep won’t eliminate anxious behavior, it might make you feel better.

Recovery Support members can read the full press release in the member’s area, Chapter 16.