A new study revealed that a strong purpose in life is associated with a high-quality sleep. People with a clear sense of purpose are less likely to be affected by insomnia and other sleep disorders.
The research also showed that people who sensed their lives had a meaning had a lower risk of sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes breathing to briefly stop while asleep. Sleep apnea is tied to other conditions such as fatigue, higher risk of heart attack and stroke, and even weight gain.
Study participants who said their lives were the most purposeful had a better nighttime sleep than their peers with a less clear purpose in life.
The study was published in the journal Sleep Science and Practice.
Sleep disorders tend to get worse as people age, but the recent study, which involved seniors, could be applied to other age groups.
A Purpose in Life Better than Drugs
Lead author Jason Ong thinks that giving people a good reason to wake up in the morning is a fundamentally better solution to sleep disorders than medication. In the U.S., insomnia is a growing problem, while one in four adults is not happy with the quality of their sleep.
Helping people cultivate a purpose in life could be an effective drug-free strategy to improve sleep quality,
Prof. Ong said.
The findings add to the countless expert tips on how to improve sleep, but it is one of the most rational. Other tips include having a bedtime routine which includes going to bed and raising at the same hour, not eating late at night, or exercising before going to sleep.
Caffeine-based products are also a big no-no, and so are electronic devices before bedtime.
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