How Gratitude Can Help You Sleep
The trick is to spend 15 minutes before bed listing all the things for which you’re grateful. This strategy worked for Canadian university students who were having trouble sleeping because their minds were racing with stimulating thoughts and worries. Another study, at the United Kingdom’s University of Manchester focused on more than 400 adults who responded to questionnaires about gratitude, sleep, and thoughts they had prior to falling asleep. Results showed that gratitude was related to having more positive thoughts (and fewer negative ones) at bedtime and thus enabling participants to fall asleep faster and enjoy more restful sleep. On the flip side, not sleeping well tends to make people feel less grateful than individuals who do have a good night’s sleep, according to research at the University of California, Berkeley. Another Berkeley study found that individuals who recorded how well they slept every night for two weeks as well as their daily feelings of gratitude found that their expressions of gratitude diminished when they didn’t sleep well. Some participants even reported feeling selfish the day after a poor night’s sleep.
Nancy Digdon et al, “Effects of Constructive Worry, Imagery Distraction and Gratitude Interventions on Sleep Quality: A Pilot Trial.” Applied Psychology: Health and Wellbeing, May 24, 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1758-0854.2011.01049.x
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