News Release

Getting more sleep leads to increased gratitude, resilience and flourishing

New study reveals how adding 46 minutes of sleep can measurably increase ‘positives of life’

Reports and Proceedings

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

DARIEN, IL – A new study to be presented at the SLEEP 2024 annual meeting found that healthy sleep has a positive impact on gratitude, resilience and flourishing in adults.

Results show that subjective sleepiness and mood disturbances improved with earlier bedtimes that extended sleep by an average of 46 minutes per night and worsened with later bedtimes that reduced nightly sleep by an average of 37 minutes. Measures of flourishing, resilience and gratitude significantly improved across the week with sleep extension and significantly worsened with sleep restriction. Sleep-extended participants also wrote twice as much on their gratitude list as the other participants in the study.

“Polling data indicates that happiness has declined in the U.S. in recent years, and during the same time period, sleep problems have been widespread,” said principal investigator Michael Scullin, who has a doctorate in psychology and is an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. “While it’s recognized that sleep loss worsens mental health symptoms, there have not been experimental studies to test whether increasing sleep improves the positive aspects of life like feelings of purpose, hope and gratitude.”

The study involved 90 adults who were randomly assigned to late bedtimes, early bedtimes or to sleep normally across a single workweek and were monitored by actigraphy. The primary outcomes were changes in state and trait feelings of flourishing, resilience, and gratitude, as well as behavioral expressions of gratitude.

The impacts of poor sleep health are well-documented. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommend that adults should sleep seven hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health, productivity and daytime alertness.

Scullin noted that experimentally increasing sleep improved these positive attributes, which are at the core of well-being and among the underpinnings of prosocial behaviors.

“Subtly increasing sleep increased people’s gratitude, resilience and feelings of flourishing in life,” Scullin said.

This study was supported by an Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement grant from Baylor University, along with grants from the National Science Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation. The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented Wednesday, June 5, during SLEEP 2024 in Houston. SLEEP is the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.


Abstract TitleGratitude, Flourishing, and Prosocial Behaviors Following Experimental Sleep Restriction and Sleep Extension

Abstract ID: 0184

Poster Presentation Date: Wednesday, June 5, 10-10:45 a.m., Board 037

Presenter: Alexander Do, medical student

About the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC

The APSS is a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The APSS organizes the SLEEP annual meeting each June (

About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Established in 1975, the AASM advances sleep care and enhances sleep health to improve lives. The AASM has a combined membership of 12,000 accredited sleep centers and individuals, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals who care for patients with sleep disorders. As the leader in the sleep field, the AASM sets standards and promotes excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research (

About the Sleep Research Society 

The SRS is a professional membership society that advances sleep and circadian science. The SRS provides forums for the exchange of information, establishes and maintains standards of reporting and classifies data in the field of sleep research, and collaborates with other organizations to foster scientific investigation on sleep and its disorders. The SRS also publishes the peer-reviewed, scientific journals Sleep and Sleep Advances (

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