pixelheadphoto digitalskillet/ShutterstockIf you’re convinced you’ll never win the lottery, you can still get the next best thing: a good night’s sleep.
That’s what a new study out of the University of Warwick in the U.K. is saying. Researchers spent four years studying the sleep patterns of over 30,000 people, and throughout that time, evaluating the participants’ health and well-being. To do this, participants filled out the General Health Questionnaire, a tool used to measure mental health, and parts of the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey, which tracks health conditions over a multi-year study.
The results of these surveys showed that lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep could actually make preexisting medical conditions worse. Taking sleep medications was also linked to these negative outcomes.
But here’s where the magic is revealed. People who got a full night’s sleep or just had a more restful sleep had much higher survey scores, specifically a 2-point improvement on the GHQ. That score corresponds with the state of well-being people experience after eight weeks of mindful cognitive therapy that helps prevent relapses of depression (read: a serious mood booster).
Oh, and that 2-point increase? That’s about the same increase in well-being that lottery winners experienced two years after winning $250,000.
So how can you feel as good as a jackpot winner? Listen to the advice of sleep doctors, practice clean sleeping, and make sure you get enough hours of sleep for you. (That may not necessarily be eight hours!)
These findings don’t prove a causal link between sleep and being happy (meaning sleep isn’t necessarily the sole reason for a person’s happiness) but it definitely gives us a good reason to prioritize sleep. Which is basically the news every working adult has been waiting to hear.