Study Says That Strong Faith Makes For a Good Night’s Sleep

A woman sleeps peacefully. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

A strong faith could be the key to a good night’s sleep, according to a study released this week in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Researchers found that those who believe in salvation and feel they have an unshakable relationship with God tend to sleep longer, fall asleep faster and feel more rested in the morning, according to Terrence D. Hill, associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Sociology.

Hill, a co-author of the study, “Sleep Quality and the Stress-Buffering Role of Religious Involvement: A Mediated Moderation Analysis,” said the findings aren’t surprising to him.

Terrence D. Hill. Photo courtesy
of University of Arizona

“If you believe a higher power is out there looking out for you, then what you’re going through now is temporary,” he said. “These worldly experiences are temporary.”

Those beliefs, he explained, help one feel less stress by giving a sense of hope and reducing sadness, and therefore sleeping better.

“It makes intuitive sense,” said co-author Reed T. Deangelis, graduate student of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “People who believe they’re secure to God and will go to heaven when they die rest assured.”

The lead author on the study is Christopher G. Ellison, professor of sociology at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Their research, Hill explained, “also shows that religion can indirectly promote sleep by protecting against other risk factors — in this case, stress.”

According to the National Sleep Foundation, people tend to be too stressed to sleep when they can’t turn off their minds, and instead replay their worries or frustration; when they experience muscle tension; and when they have an increased heart rate, which also causes physical tension.

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Source: Religion News Service