Optimism makes you sleep better

Optimism makes you sleep better

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Insomnia and Optimism Study

A few months ago, researchers from the United States published a study that showed that optimism significantly reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. One reason for the health benefits could be that optimistic people sleep better.

Scientific studies have shown that optimists live longer than pessimistic people and have a lower risk of becoming chronically ill. One reason for the longer and healthier life of optimistic people could be better sleep: This is the central result of a current study from Austria.

Optimistic people live healthier

The study, led by Jakob Weitzer and Eva Schernhammer from the Department of Epidemiology at the Medical University (MedUni) Vienna, was recently published in the journal "Journal of Sleep Research". The two sleep researchers Stefan Seidel and Gerhard Klösch (University Clinic for Neurology, MedUni Vienna) were also involved in this scientific work.

By analyzing the data from an online survey on general sleep characteristics and, among other things, the working environment and behavior before bedtime in 2017, in which 1,004 Austrians participated, the epidemiologists at MedUni Vienna were able to show that the likelihood of sleep disorders or insomnia for optimistic participants was around 70 percent less than for pessimistic ones.

“Other studies have shown that optimists do more sports, smoke less, and eat healthier. They also apply better problem-solving strategies and experience less stress in challenging situations. All of these factors can lead to better sleep, ”Weitzer summarizes the current state of research in a press release.

"Train" optimism

The study authors emphasize that various exercises can even promote optimism. One of these exercises is the so-called “Best Possible Self-Method”. “You try to imagine an ideal and write down what your best possible life could look like in the future. After regular practice for several weeks, you can encourage your own optimism, ”explains Weitzer.

The primary goal is not to achieve this “ideal”, but rather to reflect on it in general and then set realistic goals that are optimistic for the future. To date, however, it is uncertain whether the increase in optimism achieved in the exercises alone leads to better sleep and better health, stresses Weitzer.

However, if this is the case, which would have to be examined in further studies, "optimism training" could reduce the frequency of sleep and other health problems in the population, the message says. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Medical University of Vienna: Optimistic people sleep better, (accessed: July 11, 2020), Medical University of Vienna
  • Jakob Weitzer, Kyriaki Papantoniou, Clara Lázaro ‐ Sebastià, Stefan Seidel, Gerhard Klösch, Eva Schernhammer: The contribution of dispositional optimism to understanding insomnia symptomatology: Findings from a cross ‐ sectional population study in Austria; in: Journal of Sleep Research, (published: July 8th, 2020), Journal of Sleep Research

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