Insomnia is worsened by clock-watching
Sleeping with the eyes on the clock can lead to insomnia, and you may need sleep aids.
Summary Monitoring time when trying to sleep may exacerbate insomnia and lead to the use of sleeping aids.
Nearly 5,000 patients were involved in the study. It was found that stress from trying to estimate sleep durations made it difficult for people to fall asleep. The frustration caused by the study led to an increased likelihood of using sleep aids.
This study shows that a simple behavioral change, like avoiding checking the clock, can alleviate insomnia.
- Monitoring time when trying to sleep can worsen insomnia and lead to increased use of sleeping aids.
- This study shows that a simple behavioral change, like not checking the clock, can help treat insomnia.
- Between 4 and 22% of adults suffer from insomnia, which is linked to long-term health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression.
According to a professor at Indiana University, watching the clock when trying to sleep exacerbates insomnia. Sleep aids are also used more often. A small change can help people to sleep better.
Spencer Dawson, clinical associate professor and director of clinical training at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences of the College of Arts and Sciences, is leading this research. It focuses on nearly 5,000 sleep clinic patients.
Sleep disorders like insomnia are associated with chronic health conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression.
Participants filled out questionnaires regarding the severity of their sleeplessness, the use of sleep medications, and the time they spent observing their behavior as they tried to fall asleep. The participants were asked to disclose any psychiatric diagnosis. Researchers performed mediation analyses to see how factors interacted.
Dawson stated that time-monitoring behaviors have a major impact on the use of sleep medications because they exacerbate insomnia.
People worry that they aren’t getting enough sleep. They then estimate how long they can fall asleep again and when to get up. This is not an excellent activity to help you fall asleep. The more stressed you are, you will have difficulty falling asleep.
Sleep aids are becoming more popular as people become increasingly frustrated with their lack of sleep.
The results have been published in Primary Care Companion CNS Disorders. Other co-authors include Dr. Barry Krakow of the Mercer University School of Medicine, Patricia Haynes of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman School of Public Health of the University of Arizona, and Darlynn R. Rojo-Wissar of the Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Dawson stated that the research shows that a simple behavioral treatment could help those who struggle with insomnia. He offers the same advice every time he meets a new patient.
Dawson suggested that people should turn their clock around or cover it, abandon the smartwatch, and put their phone out of reach so they don’t check the time. There’s no place where checking the time is helpful.
Dawson has 15 years of experience in sleep research and clinical practice. He is particularly interested in comparing the sleep experiences of individuals with what is happening simultaneously in their brains. He supervises and trains doctoral students at the Department of Psychological and Brain Science Clinical Science Program.
This news about sleep research is worth reading.
Sleep Aids and Insomnia – The Role of Time Monitoring Behaviour
This study aims to determine the mechanisms behind the preference for pharmacotherapy in treating chronic insomnia. It may be possible to develop strategies that reduce the reliance on sleep medications by examining the mechanisms behind this preference for pharmacotherapy. This study aimed to investigate how the time-monitoring behaviour (TMB, clock-watching), and frustration that may accompany it, interacts with insomnia symptoms to increase sleep aid use.
The methods: Patients presenting to a private, community-based sleep center between May 2003 – October 2013 completed an Insomnia Severity Index and Time Monitoring Behavior-10. They also reported the frequency with which they used sleep medications (both OTC and prescription). The mediation analyses investigated how clock-watching, and the frustration that comes with it, could be related to insomnia symptoms and medication usage.
Results ISI significantly explained the relationship between TMB and sleep medication usage (P >.05), as TMB (especially frustration-related TMB) seems to aggravate insomnia which leads to sleep aids use. TMB also explains the relationship between ISI, and sleep medication usage, although to a lesser degree. ISI can lead to an increase in TMB which, in turn, may lead to sleep aids.
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TMB, and the frustration that it causes, may be a factor in perpetuating a cycle of insomnia. Future longitudinal and intervention research will be needed to examine these symptoms and behaviors over time and test whether reducing frustration by limiting TMB can reduce the tendency to use pharmacotherapy.