Happiness Double Whammy: Sleep Makes You More Grateful

AND a better member of society

Everyone is constantly extolling the benefits of sleep—yet somehow we all still sacrifice it—but new research reveals a surprising benefit:  a good night’s sleep creates more feelings of gratitude! Talk about a double whammy for happiness: sleep and gratitude are two major keys to staying happy!

“A plethora of research highlights the importance of getting a good night’s sleep for physical and psychological well-being,” says Amie Gordon of the University of California, Berkeley, “yet in our society, people still seem to take pride in needing, and getting, little sleep.” Tsk, tsk.

“Everyday experiences of poor sleep are negatively associated with gratitude toward others—an important emotion that helps form and maintain close social bonds.” Prosocial behavior (activities like expressing gratitude and giving to others) is key to our psychological well-being and happiness. A large body of research has previously documented that people who experience gratitude are happier and healthier. But this new research found a decline in gratitude associated with poor sleep, and study participants reported feeling more selfish on their poor-sleep days.

Convinced that you need to hit the sack an hour earlier tonight yet? If not, check this out: in heterosexual couples, “People reported feeling less appreciated by their partners if they or their partner tends to sleep poorly, suggesting that the lack of gratitude is transmitted to the partner,” Gordon says.

“Poor sleep is not just experienced in isolation,” Gordon says. Be a happier, healthier you and member of society simply by sleeping more!

Image: Some rights reserved by Carl Lovén

Category: Body


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