Is Sleep the Best Key to Happiness?
by Bill Vanhook
What is it we all want in life? Money? Power? Friends? Family? Or simply, happiness? When I look at my own life, it is when I am truly happy, that I find meaning in life. I am constantly in search of moments of happiness, both big and small, for no matter how much happiness enters your life, even the tiniest amount can change us. But, how do we achieve true happiness?
That is a problem which has plagued philosophers for a long, long time, and I am sure that they will continue to puzzle over it forever more, but allow me to give my own answer. Not an original answer, but one which has been stated many times. Now, this is not the be-all and end-all of happiness, but it can contribute to it immensely. It is sleep
Sleep can turn the worst day into the best day. A good nap can change your outlook. A great night’s sleep can solve your problems. So, when we think about sleep and happiness, what is the true correlation between the two?
Sleep can help to maintain your weight. A lack of sleep has been shown to contribute to overeating. When we do not sleep enough, our bodies are more likely to reach out for the high-calorie food and processed food options. When we sleep well, we eat less, we gain less weight, and we are happier. More sleep also means a better immune system. When our bodies have time to recover and fight diseases, they are either eliminated quickly or do not have a chance to attack us at all. A healthier body is a happier body.
Sleep can make you more intelligent.
If you get enough sleep during the night, you are more focused and less distracted through the day. This allows you to process information more effectively, and learn quicker. A lack of sleep can affect your mind as alcohol would. When it does come time to sleep, this is your mind’s time to solidify learning and form memories. If your sleep is poor-quality or disturbed, then your mind does not have time to do this, and you will, in fact, be dumber. Sorry, to put it so bluntly. If you are sleeping relax on a good mattress, then you can only benefit.
A good night’s sleep can also help you to feel less stressed. If you have stress in your life, then a lack of sleep can only magnify that. Your brain needs the time to switch off from your day to day activities and focus on your stress. When you turn off, your brain is working on the subconscious level to solve your problems. Meditation is great for stress and so is sleeping. Lack of sleep can also make us less focused throughout the day. When we cannot focus, we cannot deal with information and friendships. If we cannot connect with people, then some meaning is taken from our lives. A social network is connected to stress levels. If we can get enough sleep, we can naturally deal with stress, but we can also rely on our friend and family to help us too.
If you have ever had an awful night’s sleep, or not been able to sleep for a long time, you know what it feels like. Your body just cannot function. It is only when we get quality sleep that we feel refreshed and invigorated. Our mood can be greatly dictated by our sleep patterns, and we would do well to focus on sleep as a priority. I cannot claim to have found the secret to happiness, but I try to get more sleep.
About the Author
Bill Vanhook prides himself in studying and learning the effects of sleep on our bodies.