Is getting to sleep a problem? Try counting blessings instead of worries.

A grateful mind aids restful sleep, according to research.

It’s time for bed, and your head hits the pillow, then the post mortem begins. The inner correspondent in your brain starts chewing over the day’s events, scrutinizing and evaluating; could have done that better, what did she mean when she said that.

At times like that, it’s worth remembering although not every day is good, there is often something good in every day. One way to refocus the mind is to think about what you are thankful for in life. It may just help you get to sleep.

When Professor Alex Wood from Manchester University in the UK compared levels of gratitude with sleep quality in four hundred men and women, they found those with higher levels of gratitude slept better.

The results published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that the people with a more grateful disposition slept longer and felt more refreshed the next day.

It’s not possible to think positively and negatively simultaneously, so thinking about good things limits time to ruminate over the bad.

“Negative pre-sleep thoughts impair sleep, and gratitude reduces the likelihood of such thoughts, protecting sleep quality,” wrote Woods.

What better way to end the day quieting the mind and focusing on the good things in life; catching up with a friend, cuddling a loved one, a good cup of coffee, or a compliment from a colleague are examples of everyday events to feel gratitude.


Wood. A.M., Joseph. S.J., Lloyd.J., Atkins.S. (2009). Gratitude influences sleep through the mechanism of pre-sleep cognitions. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 66,1,43-48.

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