Sleeping at the right time is linked to lower levels of anxiety.
People who go to sleep later tend to experience more repetitive negative thinking, research finds.
Those who go to bed later also get more overwhelmed with negative thoughts than those who keep more regular sleeping hours.
People who experience repetitive negative thinking typically feel they have little control over it.
They worry too much about both the future and the past, and the thoughts tend to intrude into everyday life.
These intrusive thoughts are linked to depression, anxiety disorder, OCD and social anxiety disorder.
Mr Jacob Nota, the study’s first author, said:
“Making sure that sleep is obtained during the right time of day may be an inexpensive and easily disseminable intervention for individuals who are bothered by intrusive thoughts.”
Professor Meredith E. Coles, the study’s co-author, said:
“If further findings support the relation between sleep timing and repetitive negative thinking, this could one day lead to a new avenue for treatment of individuals with internalizing disorders.
Studying the relation between reductions in sleep duration and psychopathology has already demonstrated that focusing on sleep in the clinic also leads to reductions in symptoms of psychopathology.”
The study was published in the journal Cognitive Therapy and Research (Nota & Coles, 2014).