What You Need to Know About Sleep and Your Happiness

I think we can all agree that different things in life make different people happy. But I think we can also agree, that everyone is a little happier after a good night sleep! Check out these 6 ways sleep can affect happiness in your life.

Your Mood and Mental Health

Poor sleep can be detrimental to how we feel throughout the day. Here’s why:

The amygdala is known as the emotional center of the brain that triggers our fight or flight feelings (stress, anger, fear). With adequate amount of sleep (7-9 hours) we allow the amygdala to better process our feelings, producing a balanced and appropriate fight of flight response to situations. Quality sleep helps us control our emotions, regulates mood swings, and prevents volatile responses throughout the day. Without quality sleep, the amygdala is 60% more reactive, meaning your mood is more likely unstable. Other facts about your mental health and sleep:

  • 65% of adults who sleep over 7 hours report excellent mental health
  • Adults who report poor or fair mental health average 30 fewer minutes of sleep
  • The risk of developing depression is 5x higher in people with insomnia
  • People with insomnia are 20x more likely to develop anxiety disorders

Your Safety

Being sleepy can impair your ability to complete normal tasks safely, without putting yourself or others at risk. For example, a bad night of sleep can make your morning commute much more dangerous, for everyone.

  • 60% of adults in the US have driven while drowsy, and about one-third of people have actually fallen asleep at the wheel.
  • In the United States, drowsy driving is a factor in 100.000 car crashes per year
  • 16 hours of sleeplessness makes a person as impaired as having a 0.05% blood alcohol level

Your Confidence

After a good night sleep, you should wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the world. With higher energy levels you’re likely put more effort into how you present yourself for the day and feel better about communicating with others. You are also more likely to work out, eat better, and in turn become a healthier, more confident you.

Your Work

When you’ve received a good night sleep, you’re should be ready to take on whatever it is your job throws at you today – without an afternoon energy crash! If you haven’t got a good night sleep, it’s a little more difficult to deal with daily activities as you lose focus, have trouble communicating, and take longer to complete tasks. You most likely become more anxious as the day goes on, and by lunch time- you’re over it.

  • Only 27% of adults who get at least 8 hours sleep report feeling overwhelmed compared to 40% of adults who get less than 8 hours.
  • It is estimated that U.S. employers lose $18 billion in lost productivity due to the effects of sleep loss on work performance.

Your Kids

It’s inevitable, when we are tired, we get irritated much easier. So coming home after an exhausting day with no sleep the night before is not always easy when you have little ones to tend to! If you are well rested, you will likely have healthier interactions with your children as you won’t be as irritable and short-tempered. You’ll be more inclined to listen, play, and communicate with them appropriately.

  • 52% of adults report yelling at their kids when running on less than 8 hours sleep.

Your Spouse

With a good night of quality sleep comes the ability to communicate and be more patient with one another. This can make a huge difference in your relationship! When one of you are sleep deprived, the other can certainly tell. If you’re both well rested, the more fun and engaging activities you can partake in and equally enjoy.

Also, with more sleep comes more energy, and higher sex drive. Sex is also known to promote better sleep as it releases hormones which leave you feeling sleepy.

  • 50% of adults report losing patience or yelling at their partner with under 8 hours of sleep.
  • When lacking sleep, both genders report decrease libido.
  • Sleep disorders may lower testosterone in men.

Quality sleep is about much more than avoiding the need to drink coffee all day. A good night’s sleep will help you be the best version of yourself, so you can enjoy your time with the people you love.