Based on the results, Professor Cole suggests that limited sleep may mean a person focuses on negative thoughts and events in their life, impacting their mental disposition and fostering itself as anxiety and depression.
"We found that people in this study have some tendencies to have thoughts get stuck in their heads, and their elevated negative thinking makes it difficult for them to disengage with the negative stimuli that we exposed them to," said Coles. "While other people may be able to receive negative information and move on, the participants had trouble ignoring it."
Cole and her team are continuing their research as they uncover these results, evaluating how healthier sleep patterns can be implemented to assist those suffering with mental health issues to disengage from negative stimulus. If their theories are correct, the team believes that sleep could one day be used as an effect treatment method by psychologists as part of a holistic treatment program.
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