Getting better sleep like winning lottery

Improves health and wellbeing
  • Deborah Condon

If you want to feel like you have won the lottery, try improving the quality of your sleep.

According to a new study, improving sleep quality can be as beneficial to health and happiness as winning around €230,000 on the lottery.

UK researchers analysed the sleep patterns of more than 30,000 people over a four-year period. They found that those who managed to improve the quality of their sleep enjoyed high levels of mental and physical health and wellbeing over time.

These health improvements were comparable with somebody winning a jackpot of around €230,000. They were also comparable to people who had completed an eight-week programme of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy aimed at improving psychological wellbeing.

The researchers noted that the quality of sleep was more important than quantity. Furthermore, those who did not get enough sleep, got poorer quality sleep, or who required sleep medication, tended to display poorer medical and emotional states.

"We are far from demonstrating a causal relationship, but the current findings suggest that a positive change in sleep is linked to better physical and mental wellbeing further down the line.

"It is refreshing to see the healing potential of sleep outside of clinical trial settings, as this goes to show that the benefits of better sleep are accessible to everyone and not reserved for those with extremely bad sleep requiring intensive treatments," commented Dr Nicole Tang of the University of Warwick.

Details of these findings are published in the journal, SLEEP.

 

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