Study reveals an extra 29 minutes of sleep every night can help improve mindfulness the next day

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Study reveals an extra 29 minutes of sleep every night can help improve mindfulness the next day
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Mindfulness is the ability of a human to be fully present and aware of where the person is and what they are doing without getting overwhelmed by any of the situations they find themselves in.

Extra sleep can improve mindfulness. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The importance of sleep is known to all. Adequate sleep is necessary for not only maintaining good physical health but also mental health. Studies have even shown that sound sleep helps in faster recovery of the body. Scientists have previously discovered that prolonged sleep deprivation can increase the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Sleep also has an impact on mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the ability of a human to be fully present and aware of where the person is and what they are doing without getting overwhelmed by any of the situations they find themselves in.

The recent study published in the journal Sleep Health on 1st October 2020 showed that sleeping for an extra 29 minutes each night can help in improving mindfulness.

The relationship of sleep with mindfulness

For this study, the researchers from the University of South Florida focused on various characteristics of sleep and also the impact of the night’s sleep on daily mindfulness.

This study was conducted on 61 nurses, who play an important role in the healthcare industry and require optimal sleep and mindful attention while working. However, sleep deprivation is quite common in this population due to long shifts, lack of control over the situations and regular encounters with life-threatening health conditions.

In this study, the scientists provided the participants with actigraphs for two consecutive weeks. Actigraphs are devices that are placed on the wrist, ankle or trunk of the body to record daily movements or to estimate sleep parameters. All the participants were asked to report actigraphy-measures and self-reported daily sleep characteristics. Sleep health was determined on the basis of 5 dimensions:

  • Satisfaction: It was self-reported by the participants and was based on sleep sufficiency, quality of sleep and symptoms of insomnia.
  • Alertness: It was self-reported by the participants and was based on the number of times they felt sleepy during the day. 
  • Timing: It included the time spent sleeping and awake and was measured by actigraphy.
  • Efficiency: It included the percentage of time the participant spent asleep in the bed and was measured using the actigraphy.
  • Duration: The duration of the sleep was calculated using actigraphy.

An extra half an hour of sleep

The results of the study showed that better sleep helps in improving mindfulness the very next day. Nurses who slept for a longer period of time were more mindful and attentive. After an extra 29 minutes of sleep, they also reported better sleep quality and less same-day sleepiness. It was also reported that nurses with greater mindful attention were 66 percent less likely to experience any symptoms of insomnia during the study period.

The scientists concluded that for mindful attention of healthcare workers they must be provided with better sleep. Better sleep health can help them provide better patient care.

For more information, read our article on Sleep deprivation

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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