Everyone knows how nice it is to have a good night’s sleep. Now, a new study from the University of British Columbia shows that sleeping too little actually makes you more unhappy. You can enjoy less positive experiences.
Almost a quarter of people have sleep problems, or so it sounds to scientists, who immediately list the disadvantages. For example, too little sleep can lead to cardiovascular disease, intestinal complaints and metabolic diseases. A lack of sleep also has mental repercussions: you are less concentrated, your memory deteriorates and you have a worse mood.
Now, a new study also confirms that too little sleep really takes the joy out of your life. “Even small fluctuations in your sleep time affect how you respond to events in daily life,” said University of British Columbia psychologist Nancy Sin.
Sin and colleagues looked at data from 2,000 adults between the ages of 33 and 84. “When people experience something positive, such as a hug or a visit to nature, they usually feel happier,” says Sin. “But we found that when people slept less than normal, they experienced less positive emotions after happy events like this.”
Sleeping longer than usual had a positive effect on the experience of pleasant events. It also protected against the effects of daily stress. Interestingly enough, there was no relationship between sleep duration and the degree to which negative experiences entered. This suggests that sleep is especially important for positivity, the research team writes.