Optimism is a stress-reducing attitude and belief that can improve sleep. Optimists are people who focus on positive experiences and are more likely to attribute positive outcomes to themselves. They believe they can influence events through their actions, expect the best when faced with uncertainty, and remember success better than failure. Optimists certainly experience negative thoughts and emotions. However, their positive attitudes and beliefs create a mental filter that allows in primarily positive thoughts while preventing negative ones. As a result, optimists do not experience a lot of negative thoughts, can change from negative to positive thinking easily, and experience more positive mood and less stress as a result. For these reasons, optimism can minimize the deleterious effects of stress on sleep.

Although optimism may be due in part to inborn temperament, it can also be learned. Here are some strategies for promoting optimistic thinking:

  1. View setbacks as temporary.
  2. Don’t generalize a problem to your whole life.
  3. Avoid dismissing positive events as temporary or due to chance, luck, or external causes.
  4. Avoid blaming yourself for things that are beyond your control.
  5. Repeat positive beliefs to yourself regularly such as “I expect the best when faced with uncertainty”.
  6. Practice an attitude of gratitude by focusing on what you have and positive events in daily life.
  7. Avoid pessimist and seek out optimists