People who sleep less than the recommended eight hours a night are more likely to suffer depression or anxiety, a new study suggests.
The study, conducted by researchers at Binghamton University of New York State and published in the recent edition of journal ScienceDirect, compared the timing and duration of sleep in individuals with moderate to high levels of repetitive negative thoughts such as worry and rumination.
Researchers found that people who have disruptions in regular sleep have difficulty in shifting their attention away from negative information, which suggests that inadequate sleep leads to negative intrusive thoughts that eventually interfere with people's lives.
The negative thoughts can more easily expose people to different types of psychological disorders, such as depression or anxiety, said Jacob Nota, one of the researchers of the study.
The researchers are working to explore the link between sleep disruptions and the way they affect these basic processes that help overcome obsessive negative thoughts.
They hope their study could find a solution that can help treat anxiety and depression by shifting patients' sleep cycles to a healthier pattern.