Thinking about the long lists of tasks we have on our plates could leave most of us anxious. But a study suggests that writing them down could help us get some sleep.
According to investigation of Baylor University people in a research study who wrote down their to-do lists for the next day were able to fall asleep faster.
The study took 57 adults and divided them into two groups. One group wrote down a list of things they had to do the next day, while the other group noticed tasks they had already completed. The two groups were given five minutes to write, and they were instructed to go to bed at 10:30 p.m.
The results showed that group members on the to-do list fell asleep much faster than those who focused on their full lists.
"Most people simply check their lists of things to do in their heads, and that's why we wanted to explore whether writing them could counteract the night's difficulties in getting to sleep." said Michael K. Scullin, Ph.D., director of the Baylor Sleep Cognition and Neuroscience Laboratory.
The findings were published in the journal of the American Psychological Association .
Researchers used polysomnography during the night, a tool used to control brain activity during sleep.
Scullin said a larger study on the role of sleep task lists could help people with disorders such as insomnia. "Measures of personality, anxiety and depression may moderate the effects of writing upon falling asleep, and that could be explored in an investigation with a larger sample."
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @ brettmolina23 .
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