“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” Benjamin Franklin one wrote, and it seems as if there’s more to it than just a great outlook on a healthy night’s rest; a new study suggests that it also contributes to our overall happiness too!
While an overabundance of sleep is never a good thing, in fact, it’s a major symptom of depression, there’s no denying that the proper amount of sleep can make you feel better, work better and a great benefactor of your physical health.
This 2015 study conducted with over 7,000 U.S. adults revealed that those who got more sleep, have a higher overall well-being than those who do not. The average “well-being score” for participants who reported getting 8 hours of sleep a night was 65.7 out of 100, compared with 64.2 for those who got 7 hours of sleep and 59.4 for those who got 6 hours of sleep.
While this study cannot directly determine if getting more sleep boosts well-being or if people who have higher well-being tend to get more sleep, other surveys can shed more light on how sleep comes into play with our happiness.
In 2007, a study set out to reveal just what happens in our sleep-deprived brains that makes us so grouchy. For this, they split their participants into two groups: one in which everyone was allowed to sleep peacefully throughout the night, and the others were were kept up for a day in a half… something we’d never wish on our worst enemies!
After this, both groups were shown images while hooked up to an fMRI that monitored their brain waves. Some images were basic items like a spoon, but others were more disturbing like shark attacks. Interestingly, the sleep-deprived group all showed one key similarity: when shown gory images, the emotional centers in their brains became 60% more active than the others. This means that while those with a good night’s sleep can keep their emotions in check, people who are not getting a full 7 hours cannot… we’re sure this sounds familiar! In reality, we don’t need an fMRI or extreme tests to tell ourselves that a good night’s sleep keeps us happy and less grouchy. But to ensure your happiness, be sure to get enough sleep each get enough sleep each night!
How Stuff Works recommends these four sleep tips to keep yourself happy & healthy.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, excessive liquids and large meals in the hours before bedtime.
- Get regular exercise, but schedule your workouts so that they’re a few hours before you hit the hay.
- Set a regular sleep schedule and stick to it, even on the weekends, when you might be tempted to hit snooze.
- Use your bed only for sleeping, not for playing on the computer or watching movies. This helps your body and mind to know that when you’re in bed, it’s time to sleep.