Are you depriving yourself of happiness by sleeping less? When observing human behaviour, you will notice the following interesting point. Everything people do, they do because they believe it will increase their level of happiness. But for most people, when it comes to the pursuit of happiness, sleep is last on their list of things to do. Why do they not know that sleep and happiness goes hand in hand?
Does your happiness fix work?
Why do people not chase sleep and happiness? People work long hours for financial wellbeing because they think that is what will make them happy. They eat chocolate because it fulfills an immediate need for happiness. Likewise, they drink coffee to bring an instant lift to their spirits and energy. Looking closely, it appears that humans are forever seeking a happiness fix. The problem is, all of these things are temporary solutions. Moreover, with regular use, they tend to lose their effect. Consequently, they find there is a greater need for more of the same substance. Perhaps the best way to fulfillment is through sleep and happiness.
Modern life and its disregard for sleep
Strangely, one area that modern society neglects generally, is sleep. Yet, sleep is something that people cannot go without. From birth, everyone has all the equipment that sleeping requires. However, people sacrifice their sleep in order to make money. Developing a habit of reducing the amount of sleep, leads to the inability to sleep well. That is when the lack of sleep and happiness begin to show. As the Beetles sang; “money can’t buy you love”, but it can’t buy you sleep either.
Sleeping less robs you of health and wealth
Many people suffer from full-blown insomnia and feel constantly exhausted. They suffer from the lack of sleep and happiness. Consequently, they spend more and more money on solutions to help them sleep. The search for sleep and happiness becomes a matter of urgency. Sleep clinics, sleeping tablets and other remedies form part of an enormous industry. Moreover, most treatments are futile. The effects certainly do not last. Millions of people that are desperate to sleep can vouch for that. Furthermore, the side effects of drugs damage their bodies. Finally, robbing them of their wealth and health. Moreover, bad health leads to more sleeplessness. By this time they may feel they have no other option but to continue on their medications. By then both sleep and happiness may seem extremely far out of reach.
What do you think? Is it worth neglecting sleep and losing out on the happiness which you seek? What if being much happier is truly as simple as making the effort to ensure you get a good night’s sleep every night?
Sleeplessness and negative thinking
Sleep and happiness elude those who do not prioritize rest. Studies by Jacob Nota and Meredith Coles show that late nights lead to cycles of negative thinking. Consequently, worry and anxiety increase with insomnia. Their research at the Binghamton University makes matters clear. The report states that those who suffer from insufficient sleep feel overcome with negative thoughts. Conversely, people who go to bed earlier and get more sleep, cope better. These research results are available in Springer’s book, Cognitive Therapy and Research. The study shows that sleep and happiness work well together.
Insomnia and psychological disorders
Insomniacs feel out of control of their thoughts. They remain stuck in the past and agonize about the future. Interestingly, their symptoms mimic anxiety and depressive disorders. Their tendencies resemble those of obsessive compulsive disorders. In addition, sufferers of PTSD experience similar signs. Furthermore, there are similarities with social anxiety disturbances. Coincidentally, patients that have diagnoses of these conditions, sleep less. Magic happens when their psychologists ensure they get more sleep. After some time, their symptoms begin to recede. Sleep and happiness appear to make good bed fellows.
It doesn’t work for night owls either
Furthermore, some researchers in one of many similar studies went a step further. They requested their subjects to complete several assignments. Those that slept less tended to over-analyze and procrastinate. They spent much of their time recycling negative thoughts. The same applied to those participants who believed themselves to be night owls. It appears that the laws of sleep and happiness apply to everyone.
Less sleep equals more unhappiness
Humans are the only species that consciously deny themselves sleep, says neuroscientist Matthew Walker. When people lack enough sleep, their mind lapses into primordial behavior patterns. Walker states that irrationality is a common theme in people who go without sufficient sleep. Additionally, the decrease in immunity accompanies feelings of emotional overwhelm. Results show that the over-reactions of insomniacs are sixty percent higher. With figures like these, it certainly begins to look as if sleep and happiness have some valid connection.
Less sleep increases conflict and depression
By reading through the above you have seen how sleep and happiness connect. More research shows that sleep is biologically necessary for emotional wellbeing. Studies by Smaldone in 2007 reveals that regular lack of rest leads to conflict. Results showed that consequences include severe relationship issues within families. An additional issue is social problems at school or work. Furthermore, the studies revealed that depression was a final consequence.
Could this be why so many people have depression or anxiety? Research by Motumura in 2013 reveals that sleep insufficiency leads to fluctuations in mood. In addition, insomniacs suffer lack of judgment which leads to complications. Less sleep means more stress. More rest gives you deep sleep and happiness.
Brain areas related to sleep and happiness
Research on one particular area of the brain in relation to sleep deprivation, shows some interesting results. Namely, the prefrontal lobe. The lobe is the CEO of your emotions. As it happens, this area shuts down when you lack sufficient rest. Consequently, emotional chaos follows. This implies that unhappiness follows naturally when you do not get enough sleep. The team states that the prefrontal lobe is new to human beings . Consequently, development is not at the stage where it copes well during times of sleeplessness. In this case, sleep and happiness are not on the menue.
Questions to ask
What if the way to happiness was through sleep?What if you could completely change your life? Would you make the effort to change your sleep schedule?
What if all you had to do differently, was to put sleep first? What if a balanced approach to life turned out to be more fulfilling than all the money in the world? Where is the value of your list of accomplishments when you feel exhausted on a daily basis? A life without sleep and happiness may not be the best idea.
About feel-good hormones
You have many happy hormones that your brain produces. Oxytocin is one of these feel-good hormones. After 5 hours of solid sleep, secretion of this hormone is at its peak. Immunity increases with higher levels of oxytocin. Consequently, you feel wonderful. Sleep and happiness feel good together.
Furthermore, prolactin levels are highest during sleep. More sleep means you have increased exposure to this happy hormone. The better you sleep, the happier you feel. Have you ever felt vibrantly alive? Times when your hormones are able to fulfill their functions well, are the periods when you are happiest. Take long slumbers every night. Experience how sleep and happiness can change your life.
In addition, there is human growth hormone. HGH affects your mood and youths your body. Your brain releases HGH while you slumber. Interestingly, HGH production can decline rapidly after the age of fifty. At this age, biological depression can begin to manifest. The link between sleep and happiness continues to become more and more clear.
How to ensure you get more sleep
Make getting deep rest every night your mission. To ensure success, you may want to turn it into a project. Read though the simple guidelines below. Then, take out your notebook and write down all the areas in which you must make changes. Follow the following to the T to experience your share of sleep and happiness.
The steps to happiness
Do less at dusk
Establish a healthy sleep schedule that is in tune with the natural patterns of light and dark. Slow down at dusk, finishing last minute tasks. Next, put your cell phones and laptops away before dark. Their light activates your waking hormones. Moreover, dusk is the ideal time for warm showers and simple dinners. Use the time well, so that you too can enjoy great sleep and happiness.
Darkness is for sleep
When it is dark, have some quiet time to prepare your body to go to sleep. Read, meditate or listen to peaceful music. Moreover, keep lights low. Give yourself several weeks or longer to get used to implementing your new schedule. Most importantly, be patient with the results. In time you will begin to feel more comfortable with the new times you set yourself. Within two or three weeks you will find that you have become extremely protective of your quiet time. In time, you will discover that sleep and happiness are worth the initial effort.
If happiness is your goal, sleep is the key.