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ScienceShot: Insomnia Linked to Punctuality

5 December 2011 5:08 pm
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Aaron Edwards/Creative Commons

Insomniacs have one thing going for them: They're punctual. New research finds that people who snooze for the shortest, most fitful intervals arrive more promptly for appointments than sounder sleepers. In the study, reported in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Sleep Research, scientists scheduled volunteers for overnight observation at a sleep clinic, noting the time they arrived for their appointments and swiped their insurance cards. Those who showed up earliest also slept the worst. Previous studies have linked insomnia to perfectionism, and because excessive punctuality is a form of perfectionism, the new work supports that link. Whether it's perfectionist traits that cause insomnia—or vice versa—warrants further study, however. The researchers next plan to explore whether psychotherapy aimed at reducing obsessive behavior may help curb insomnia—though patients may start coming late to their appointments.

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