Sunday, 16 December 2018 | News today: 2

Writing a to-do list can help to get sound sleep, study finds


Getting a comfortable sleep nowadays is quite difficult. The reason behind this is the missing factor of relaxation of mind. Well, a new study has revealed some interesting and easy things that can help anyone to get better sleep. As per the new study, by writing out a to-do list, one can able to get more sleep.

The new study was conducted by the researchers at Baylor University, and it has been published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. The study was led by Michael K. Scullin, Director of the Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory in Baylor University’s Department of Psychology.

It is very simple, but the study has proved that it works. For the test, the team selected 57 adults, from 18 to 30 years age group. In the lab, they monitored their sleeping pattern. Some participant advised to write down the task that they need to do next day and over the next few days. On the other side, remaining participants asked to write down the tasks that they have been finished recently. The rules included lights out at 10:30 p.m. and the participants were not allowed to use any technology or homework.

In the end, the team examined participants sleep duration, their eye movements, and brain wave activity to determine the final result. They examined participant’s brain activity using the technique polysomnography, which records eye movement, muscle activity, and other biological changes and found different sleep patterns. They found that participants who took five minutes to make a to-do list before sleep, they fell asleep nine minutes faster than the other group.

As per the researchers, it is the offloading of mental responsibility before sleep, that helps to sleep fast and also help to get a sound sleep.

Michel Scullin stated that “we live in a 24/7 culture in which our to-do lists seem to be constantly growing and causing us to worry about unfinished tasks at bedtime.” He further stated that in many cases, it has found that people cycle through their to-do lists in their heads during sleeping and even before sleep. So, the team wanted to find out that, whether by writing down those things could help to get better sleep or not.

Scullin informed that it includes two schools of thought. When one writes about the future, it can increase worry and affect sleep while who writes about completed activities should not trigger worry.

The 9 minutes difference may not seem like a lot; it’s comparable to the improvement seen in clinical trials for some sleep medications, Scullin told. A previous study conducted in 2006 has been proved that sleeping for just 10 minutes can help to improve cognitive function and energy.

The team noted that the fact of the study could be improved by using larger sample size and more data on participant’s personality and propensity for anxiety. Some study has been proved that expressive writing for 20 minutes in a day can boost immune function which can reduce asthma, arthritis and HIV/AIDS.