In a time of quarantine, it’s important to be an optimist or to become one. You might have nothing planned to do today or tomorrow. Or you might have a busy day ahead, from working from home to cooking and helping kids with their online classes and homework.
In crazy times like these, we need to sleep more and stress less as an optimist would do. You might be staying up all night, thinking and stressing about the future. How bad will it be when everything ends, and will it ever end?
Optimists Sleep Better
To sleep well, you know what you need to do, you need to stay away from screens before going to bed. Many of us bring phones or have TVs in the bedroom. That’s a recipe for disaster especially in times like these when we all talk about only one thing – coronavirus.
If you want to sleep more and stress less listen to research published in the Journal of Behavioral Science or the Monty Python line: “Always look on the bright side of life.” Optimists stress less and sleep more.
After all, hope and health go hand in hand. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately a third of Americans are not getting enough sleep. This can have serious consequences for mental and physical health such as diabetes, depression, obesity and heart disease. Additionally, you are three times more likely to be in a car accident if you don’t get enough sleep since you are less alert and more tired.
Benefits of being an optimist
Similar to this, scientists have found many health benefits of being an optimist from better recovery rates after surgery to reduced risk of having heart disease.
A team of researchers analyzed results from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults project where scientists examined the heart health of young adults for more than 30 years. Researchers had data from 3,500 participants who were between 32 and 51 years old.
Participants completed a survey designed to measure the level of optimism and they also reported on the quality of their sleep and how many hours a day they spend sleeping.
Researchers proved that there is a link between optimism and sleep. Based on the study, optimists were 78% likely to have high-quality sleep. They were also more likely to get enough sleep which is between six to nine hours per night.
However, it is possible that optimists reported on their sleeping habits and quality of sleep with rose-colored glasses as they would report on anything else. After all, they are optimists. Scientists are not sure how optimism can influence sleeping patterns. However they believe that optimism is strongly related to handling stress better which can help you sleep better. Dr. Rosalba Hernandez, a professor of social work at the University of Illinois and the lead author of the study said in a press release:
“Optimists are more likely to engage in active problem-focused coping and to interpret stressful events in more positive ways, reducing worry and ruminative thoughts when they’re falling asleep and throughout their sleep cycle.”
So, if you usually find yourself seeing the glass half empty, it might be worth re-assessing your outlook on life. Today more than ever it is important to stay optimistic when it comes to coronavirus and the economy once this is all over. Stay positive and get a good-night’s rest. Especially now when we are bombarded with information on coronavirus and the catastrophic outcomes of it. It’s time to take care of yourself, not only your physical health but your mental health as well.