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J Health Psychol. 2016 Oct;21(10):2207-17. doi: 10.1177/1359105315572455. Epub 2015 Mar 2.

The impact of a brief gratitude intervention on subjective well-being, biology and sleep.

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University College London, UK University of Roehampton, UK
University College London, UK.


This randomised controlled experiment tested whether a brief subjective well-being intervention would have favourable effects on cardiovascular and neuroendocrine function and on sleep. We compared 2 weeks of a gratitude intervention with an active control (everyday events reporting) and no treatment conditions in 119 young women. The treatment elicited increases in hedonic well-being, optimism and sleep quality along with decreases in diastolic blood pressure. Improvements in subjective well-being were correlated with increased sleep quality and reductions in blood pressure, but there were no relationships with cortisol. This brief intervention suggests that subjective well-being may contribute towards lower morbidity and mortality through healthier biological function and restorative health behaviours.


biological responses; gratitude; intervention; sleep; subjective well-being

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