Did You Know Sleeping at the Wrong Time May Worsen OCD?

I admit I'm compulsive.

No, I'm not one of those sad sacks who pile rotten eggs and dirty dishes from 2013 in the sink, climbing over boxes and mountains of clothes to get from end of the living room to the other.

But I have to finish an article the minute it's assigned and I will drive on the shoulder until I can squeeze into a line of unmoving cars.  I didn't say I was polite!

Now a new study says that people who go to bed late may just be developing OCD.  Newswise.com reports that these late-night-lovers have less control over OCD symptoms.

A late bedtime is associated with lower perceived control of obsessive thoughts, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, the web site reports.
Binghamton University Professor of Psychology Meredith E. Coles and former graduate student Jessica Schubert (now at University of Michigan Medical School) monitored 20 individuals diagnosed with OCD and 10 individuals endorsing subthreshold OCD symptoms (people who have it really bad) during one week of sleep. 
“One possibility this happens is impulse control," says Schubert. "It might be that something about shifting the timing of your sleep might reduce your ability to control your thoughts and your behaviors, so it might make it more likely that you’re going to have a hard time dismissing intrusive thoughts characteristic of obsessions, and it might make it more difficult for you to refrain from compulsive behaviors that are designed to reduce the anxiety caused by obsessive thoughts.”
On average participants in the study went to bed around 12:30 at night. Patients who met criteria for delayed sleep phase disorder, about 40% of the sample, went to bed around 3 a.m.
“I always knew you were supposed to get eight hours of sleep, but I was never told it matters when you do it,” adds Coles. “It’s been striking to me that this difference seems to be very specific to the circadian component of when you sleep. We find that there are specific negative consequences of sleeping at the wrong times."


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