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Surprise! Optimists Sleep Better Every Night

By Sandy Schroeder

Recently researchers confirmed something most of us already suspected. They found optimistic individuals tend to get a better night's sleep.

University of Illinois studies of 3,500 people, ages 32 to 51, evaluated people on their optimistic attitudes and then checked their sleep patterns in a five-year period. They asked them about insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, and length of time they slept each night. Results showed the more optimistic an individual was the better sleep he got. Overall they were more likely to have no insomnia and less sleepiness during the day.

Ways We Can Become Optimistic Too

If your sleep patterns are not perfect, you may wonder how you could become more optimistic too. Obviously, we can't just flip an optimism switch, but there are some ways to gradually turn your attitude around.

Try These Tips

Look for positive patterns - You may already have some beliefs that are positive, or have some work habits that depend on optimism. Start building on those to find more.

Think about your successes - Start listing the winning situations that you have created, which might easily lead you to expect good things in the future. If you are not totally optimistic, you may dismiss all of the positive things that have come your way. Take a moment to take credit and enjoy the positive feelings that go with achievements.

Spot some role models - Look around in your life and single out the most positive individuals. Then think about how they manage to be optimistic most of the time. How can they keep smiling when they have so much to do? Or why do they insist on being cheerful and positive when nobody else is? Ask them. You may learn a lot about what motivates optimism.

Skip worrying about the future - Most of us become more negative when we try to predict what's going to happen next. Try to focus more of your efforts on living in the present. Of course, you will have to plan for the future, but keeping most of your efforts focused on the present might make the future turn out better.

Keep a daily gratitude log - Post on a white board or note pad and jot down the big and little things that you are grateful for each day. 

Challenge your negative ideas - Think about the areas where you are the most pessimistic and ask yourself why they exist. It could just be a habit that you have fallen into, or it may have evolved from things that happened in the past. Do what you can to see the other side.

Make an optimistic list - Drum up little optimistic things that you can do for your friends and family or for yourself. The more you work on the list the better it may become.

If you start sleeping better, your work on optimism may be getting results. Keep on going. You are on the right track.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spring, Tex.

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