Scoring better Zs feels as good as winning the lottery. That’s the latest from University of Warwick psychologists in the UK, who found improving your sleep quality can lead to levels of mental and physical wellbeing on par with those of someone who’s won a $300,000 jackpot.
They analysed the sleep patterns of more than 30,000 people and saw those who’d experienced positive changes over a four-year period (better quality, quantity and less reliance on sleep meds) also improved their scores on a psychological-wellbeing questionnaire.
“An important next step is to look at the difference between those who demonstrate a positive and negative change in sleep over time, and identify what lifestyle factors and day-to-day activities are conducive to promoting sleep,” says study author Dr Nicole Tang.
Sleep’s linked to everything from immune function and weight to mood and memory, so it’s worth prioritising yours. Counting sheep not cutting it? Consistent sleep and wake times help, as done winding down before you hit the sheets.
And if you’re struggling to nod off, don’t lie there tossing and turning. Many experts recommend getting up, keeping the lights low, and doing something relaxing in another room until you feel ready to zonk out.
Really having trouble? Check in with your GP – treatments for insomnia range from medication to cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), so they can help decide what’s right for you. Sweet dreams!