Just thinking you’ve had a good night’s sleep is more important to your mood than actually having one, study finds
- Paying too much attention to your sleep could be having a detrimental impact
Thinking you’ve had a good night’s sleep is more important to your mood than actually having one, a study shows.
Researchers found that instead of paying too much attention to hitting your sleep target, simply feeling like you slumbered well has a bigger impact.
A team from the University of Warwick asked over 100 people aged between 18 and 22 to keep a daily diary about their previous night’s sleep.
This recorded details including what time they went to bed, how long it took them to go to sleep and how satisfied they were with their kip.
Five times throughout the following day, they were asked to rate their positive and negative emotions and how satisfied they were with their life.
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Participants also wore an actigraph on their wrist – which measures a person’s movement – to estimate their sleep patterns and rest cycles.
Researchers compared the actigraph data with participants’ perceptions of their sleep and how they felt the following day.
The results, published in the journal Emotion, revealed that those who simply felt like they had slept well were in a better mood the next day – even if their sleep quality was actually poor.
Lead author Dr Anita Lenneis said: ‘Even though a sleep tracking device might say that you slept poorly last night, your own perception of your sleep quality may be quite positive.
‘And if you think that you slept well, it may help better your mood the next day.’
The team said their findings match previous research that showed people’s self-reported health, and not their actual health conditions, were the main factor linked to their life satisfaction and wellbeing.