For those who has suffered through sleep deprivation, an individual can feel like a million bucks after having even just one good night’s sleep. Well, a new study reveals that sleeping well can be quite beneficial to a person’s health and happiness, just as much as winning the lottery could be.
It’s no secret, sleep deprivation can cause moodiness, depression, accidents at work or on the road, and has also been linked to obesity, cancer, and diabetes. A good night’s sleep cannot only contribute to how you feel, but is overall better for your health. Research coming out of the UK now reveals the importance of sleep, stating that improving your nightly shut-eye can make you as happy as a lottery winner.
Led by Dr. Nicole Tang, the team looked at the sleep patterns of over 30,500 individuals across the UK (16 years of age or older), within a four-year time span. Well-being and sleep quality were reviewed at one point between 2009-2011 and once again from 2012-2014.
Medical News Today reported the variables that were looked at were sleep quality, quantity, and if sleep medication was used.
The team focused on health and well-being as outcomes. When it came to measuring these, they used a questionnaire (General Health Questionnaire – GHQ), as well scores around Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12); a tool used to analyze quality of life and health. The researchers also adjusted around possible factors that could influence results, such as ethnicity, age, gender, education, and employment status.
No shocker here: the study revealed that inadequate sleep only worsened medical issues and the individual’s emotional state. The use of medication to help one sleep was also connected with the above effects.
Interestingly, when an individual found improvements to the quality and quantity of sleep, and used less medication, they would see higher scores in their SF-12 and GHQ. The team noted, that the score increases could be compared with the general improvements in well-being when lottery winners were measured for this, two years post a $250,000 win.
In general, sleep quality improvements saw the biggest beneficial effects when it came to well-being and health; which could mean that quality is better than quantity when it comes to sleep.
It is important to note, Dr. Tang, lead author does state that the research on this was observational and the team was not able to prove an underlying connection between happiness and sleep. She also indicated that more research is needed.