Having a sense of control can improve quality of life in older adults and impacts physical, mental, and emotional health. Seniors who get enough sleep, are routinely in a good mood, and lower their stress level have higher rates of autonomy — that is, they have a better sense of control in their lives, according to researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State) in Raleigh, whose study was published in the Journals of Gerontology Series B.
The NC State study involved 205 people between ages 60 and 94 who provided information on a range of psychological variables for eight days over a three-week period. Researchers determined which of these variables affected study participants’ perceived competence — their sense that they could do the things they wanted to do.
Overall, getting a good night’s sleep and being in a good mood enhanced their feeling of control, while sleeping poorly and being in a bad mood made them feel less in control of their lives. The detrimental effects of stress lasted more than one day, according to the researchers.
Sourced from: Journals of Gerontology Series B