Getting sleep each night is one of the most important things that we can do. It resets our body and mind and allows everything to be “cleaned”. It’s like a dishwasher for your brain, according to this post on BetterAfter50. Here are some connections you may not have realized, between getting sleep and feeling happy:
- Inadequate Sleep Causes Your Brain to Get Overemotional.
Have you ever wondered why a toddler or baby gets cranky when he doesn’t get enough sleep? Surely he isn’t worried about his house, car, girlfriend, or the stress of his job. From birth, your brain has emotional centers which tend to become even more emotional when we’re feeling tired.
Without sleep, the brain reverts back to primitive patterns of activity. It’s not able to think in the context of the situation at hand and does not produce controlled and appropriate responses, according to WebMD. Producing inappropriate responses not only makes us angry, furious, or confused in the short term, it also can alienate our friends, family, co-workers, and loved ones in the longer term.
- Sleep Deprivation is Linked to Weight Loss, Stroke, and Diabetes.
Studies have shown that people who are generally sleep deprived are at higher risk for weight loss, stroke, and diabetes — all of these are preventable health concerns, and all can make you significantly less happy.
Here’s a study on all of the extent of health consequences about sleep deprivation from the National Institute of Health. By sleeping more, we’re able to fend off so many possible diseases. The ironic thing is that many of the diseases we are avoiding will allow us to sleep less and less, so it becomes a vicious cycle that we can’t escape.
- When We’re Awake, Adenosine Builds Up.
When we’re awake, adenosine tends to build up throughout the day. It’s a neurotransmitter that helps the brain with sleep function, but it also is what causes us to want to sleep. As we sleep, it disappears, and then starts to build up again as we wake in the morning.
It’s what makes you more tired, confused, and groggy with every passing minute that you stay awake for too long. Certainly confusion and grogginess are not feelings normally associated with happiness, so it’s important to go to sleep the second you get tired to avoid too much excessive adenosine build up.
You can read more about adenosine and how it relates to sleep and happiness in this article from LiveStrong.com.
- Studies Show a Correlation Between Healthy Brains and Sleep
Studies have shown that healthy brains are the ones with the most sleep hours logged. Sleeping helps the plasticity of the brain and also leads to healthier and more productive brain matter.
Additionally, without the proper amounts of sleep you’re unable to get proper amounts of hormones that are replenished at night, and neurotransmitters that are necessary for brain function on a daily basis.
- More Sleep Leads to Better Performance at Work, And the Benefits That Come With That
The more you sleep and the better rested you are, the more alert and high-functioning you are. This could lead to better performance at work, and even a promotion, raise, or job offer down the line. Not to mention the happiness that comes with perks, respect, and pride.
- Sleep Allows you to Feel More Rested and Communicate Better With Your Spouse
Many couples who fight do so because one or both isn’t well-rested. By getting the proper amount of sleep each night you’re able to communicate better with your spouse, and you also have more energy to spend more romantic time with them. A happier marriage can make a world of difference in your own levels of personal happiness.
- Having Energy Allows you to Work Out More And Be Physically Fit
Exercise creates endorphins, and it’s extremely difficult to exercise when you aren’t getting enough sleep. By getting the proper amount of sleep each night you’ll be able to hit the gym earlier or more often, and you’ll generally feel healthier and better about yourself and your situation.
Endorphins are chemicals that interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. The more endorphins you have, the happier you feel, and it’s a scientifically proven correlation.
Because sleep is so important to your brain and your body’s functions, as illustrated above, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you have everything you need to get the best night of sleep possible.
This may include having the proper bedroom set up, the right size and kind of mattress, linens that make you comfortable, and a cooling mattress topper (like this), so that you get a wonderful night of sleep each and every night.
You may also want to invest in some accessories like ear plugs, noise cancelling headphones, a white noise machine, or a sleep monitor to increase not only the quantity of sleep that you’re getting, but the quality as well.