Public Release: 16-Mar-2017
Better sleep feels like winning the lottery
Improving your sleep quality is as beneficial to health and happiness as winning the lottery, according to research by the University of Warwick
University of Warwick
Improving your sleep quality is as beneficial to health and happiness as winning the lottery, according to research by the University of Warwick.
Dr Nicole Tang in the Department of Psychology has discovered that working on getting a better night's sleep can lead to optimal physical and mental wellbeing over time - and that quality of sleep is more important than how many hours you get.
Analysing the sleep patterns of more than 30,500 people in UK households across four years, Dr Tang finds that improving your sleep quality leads to levels of mental and physical health comparable to those of somebody who's won a jackpot of around £200,000.
The study shows that positive changes in sleep over time - improved quality and quantity, and using less sleep medication - are linked with improved scores on the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), which is used by mental health professionals to monitor psychological wellbeing in patients.
People surveyed who reported positive improved sleep scored a 2-point change in the GHQ - a result comparable to those recorded from patients completing an eight-week programme of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy designed to improve psychological wellbeing.
Furthermore, the same people showed improved scores on the 12-Item Short Form Survey, which tests levels of physical and emotional health, as well as people's ability to perform everyday activities.
Conversely, it was found that a lack of sleep, bad quality sleep, and using more sleep medication can lead to worsened medical and emotional states.