A new study found that people who are active in church tend to sleep better compared to people who are non-religious, reports Premier.
The University of Texas at San Antonio published a paper in Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation detailing the instances how religion can help people get a good night’s sleep.
This research is relatively uncharted territory that allows us to better understand the way in which religion and spirituality affect a person’s health and overall quality of life. —Christopher Ellison
Authored by Christopher Ellison, the study explained that the church provides psychological support to worshipers. People who practice their faith have a sense of hope, optimism and meaning. The church also serves a venue for social engagement that relieves people’s stress and promotes healthier lifestyles.
“This research is relatively uncharted territory that allows us to better understand the way in which religion and spirituality affect a person’s health and overall quality of life,” said Ellison.
Ellison, together with academics from the University of Arizona and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, analyzed major studies about the connection between religious involvement and sleep patterns. People from different age groups and religions were used in the study. Criteria for measuring religious involvement included religious attendance, religious importance and frequency of prayer, according to News Medical.
Researchers concluded that people who are actively practicing their faith tend to have healthier sleep outcomes than those who are less religious.
The Association of Christian Counselors welcomed the results of the study. Kathy Spooner, director of the organization, was “not surprised” by the findings. She said, “In our core of our being we can, therefore, feel secure because we know that we’re loved by God and that we know that our life has an eternal significance.”
Spooner compared the results to a child who is comfortable and secure at home. “Just as a child will sleep peaceably in the arms of the good parent, that is – in essence – the kind of peace we can go to bed with.”