Enjoying good quality sleep is crucial to happiness and wellbeing, according to recently published research by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
A recent study called SNAPSHOT, funded by the NIH and undertaken at a women’s hospital and the MIT Media Lab Affecting Computing Group, found that keeping a regular sleep pattern can be an important key to keeping a smile on your face all day long.
“We found that week-long irregular sleep schedules are significantly associated with lower self-reported morning and evening happiness, healthiness, and calmness during the week even after controlling for weekly average sleep duration,” said researchers, who noted that both sleep quantity and quality are important.
Sleep quality and happiness
If you sleep the required seven to eight hours a night but you sleep irregular hours, you won’t be getting the boost of happiness you need.
Research has shown that it is important to sleep in line with the body’s natural circadian rhythms (internal body clock), which makes us feel sleepy at night time and alert during the day.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the key elements of a good night’s sleep include falling asleep within half an hour after getting into bed and waking up no more than once during the night.
If you toss and turn or wake up frequently, you may not be getting enough deep sleep.
The latter is the most restorative phase of sleep and is vital for muscle and tissue building.
When you don’t get enough deep sleep, you can also wake up feeling fatigued instead of revitalized, cranky instead of joyful and refreshed.
Feel like you won the lottery with a good night’s sleep
Recent research by scientists at the University of Warwick has found that improving your sleep quality leads to better physical and mental wellbeing, enabling you to enjoy a happier psychological state.
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The study showed that by making small changes to your sleep habits over time, you can greatly improve your score on the General Health Questionnaire – which is used by mental health professionals to glean one’s psychological well-being and happiness.
Happy bedroom design
In order to get a good night’s sleep, start out by making your bedroom a more appealing place to rest in.
Sleep in line with your circadian rhythms by ensuring your resting space is cool and dark.
Choosing a supportive mattress is also key; depending on your sleeping position, your choice of mattress will differ.
For instance, if you sleep on your side, a bed with memory is key so as to support your hips and shoulders and avoid pain.
If you are a back or tummy sleeper meanwhile, firm support is key so as to prevent back pain.
Getting your pillow height right is also important so make sure to obtain expert advice.
Finally, try to keep gadgets outside so as to avoid the temptation to watch TV or surf the Internet until late.
Battle stress during the day for happiness
One of the most common reasons why people can’t sleep is tossing and turning because of worries and anxiety.
By exercising during the day and making time for mindful pursuits, you can help instill a state of blissful calm in the evening.
Match this with a relaxing routine, which can include a warm bath and breathing or progressive muscle relaxation exercises before hitting the sack.
To be truly happy, you need to be well rested.
Try to sleep at the same time every night, and to sleep in line with your body clock.
Set up a comfy bedroom so that falling asleep quickly becomes a cinch.
Finally, invest in your health by taking up exercise and stress-busting activities during the day; these will enable you to negotiate the stressors of everyday life in a more fruitful way.