Read time is about 4 mins
The Never-Before Told Secret About Sleep & Happiness
When it comes to measuring our health, it’s common to think immediately of our physical well being. We talk about maintaining a healthy weight, or eating better, but are those the only pillars that matter? More and more, we’re starting to talk about the state of our mindset. We’re beginning to recognize that physical health is important (of course), but so is our mental health.
“Self care” is trending this year, and this week on the blog we want to show you that sleep can be the key to unlocking more happiness and positivity.
We know that when we’ve had a poor sleep – especially when it’s a few nights in a row – we are often more cranky and irritable than usual. We also tend to be more reactive. Research shows that sleep deprivation increases activity in the amygdala, an area of the brain that influences emotions like anger and rage. This means that we’re not only more likely to feel negatively, we also are less able to regulate those emotions. It may also be why even in a positive situation, those who are sleep deprived can’t seem to recognize the positivity or feel any boost in mood from it.
In short, lack of sleep makes us hardwired for negativity.
On the other hand, people who report a good sleep also report being friendlier, more empathic, and feel the lasting benefits of a positive experience. Researchers Daniel Kahneman and Alan B. Krueger found that there is a direct correlation between sleep quality and overall happiness. People who are well-rested are more likely to rate their lives as happier!
Sleep and mental health
Sleep and mental health are closely linked. Poor sleep, insomnia in particular, can be a sign of impending mental health struggles, or it can be the first symptom to appear for depression. It can contribute to mental health issues, too. If you’re more susceptible to anxiety disorders or depression, poor sleep can trigger flare-ups, or exacerbate any already-present symptoms.
Just as poor sleep can worsen symptoms of depression, a good sleep can also alleviate them! Research has shown that treating a sleep disorder may improve symptoms of a co-occuring mental health problem.
Improving your sleep can help!
If you’re sleeping poorly and find your mood is suffering, take action! Take a look at your current sleep habits, and see if there is room for improvement. Check out our blog post from December for our top 7 tips for better sleep this year! You may also benefit from a sleep study, which can provide a diagnosis of any underlying sleep issues that you may not even realize are impacting your rest!
We all know that life can be stressful, and it can be challenging to keep a positive mindset. Don’t let sleep be something that adds to your stress. Let us help you get your best sleep ever in 2019!