Research shows that better sleep can improve stress response and increase motivation

Key points

  • A new study finds that getting more sleep than usual may help you appreciate positive events more.
  • It complements previous research that shows how sleep affects our mood the next day and long-term.
  • Researchers say that more appreciation for positive things and more positive experiences can help protect your health.

It’s time to set the time you’ve been postponing early to bed: A new study found that when people sleep longer than usual, they enjoy a positive experience more.

The research was published in the American Psychological Association Health psychology, It builds on previous research on how sleep affects our physical health and our emotional health. Many sleep studies have focused on the negative effects of insufficient sleep.But this new study adds more and more research on the positive effects of getting more sleep.

Dr. Nancy Sin, assistant professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, who led the research, said: “After a person sleeps more than usual, they are more likely to create opportunities for them to experience something positive,” told well. Getting more sleep—and therefore more positive experiences—may be beneficial to health.

How sleep affects our mood

A good night’s sleep can do wonders for how we feel the next day. Similarly, poor sleep can have a negative impact on our brain function and the way we process emotions. Previous studies have found that lack of sleep or lack of sleep for multiple consecutive days is related to irritability and aggression.Lack of sleep is also related to anxiety, depression, and mood swings.

Dr. Nancy Sheen

We found that when people sleep longer than usual, they tend to get more happiness from positive experiences the next day.

— Dr. Nancy Sin

Sin said that most of the research on how sleep affects people’s mood the next day is done in the laboratory. Instead, she and her colleagues conducted telephone interviews with nearly 2,000 people for eight consecutive days to learn about their sleep time the night before, and their reactions to daily stress and positive experiences the next day.

“Based on this information, we found that when people sleep longer than usual, they tend to get more happiness from positive experiences the next day,” Xin said. “And they are able to maintain positive emotions, even when under stress.” Participants were also more likely to interpret daily activities (such as walking or hugging outdoors) as very positive events.

The study’s co-author, Jin Wen, a PhD student in Health Psychology at the University of British Columbia, said that this study builds on previous research and shows how sleep affects our daily functions. “Some experimental studies have found that insufficient sleep has a greater impact on the positive emotional system in the brain than the negative emotional system,” he said. “Our research extends these findings to show that the effects of sleep on positive emotions can also be observed in daily life.”

What this means for your health

These findings are important, Sin said, and pointed to her previous research on how daily positive events promote happiness.“People who tend to lose positive emotions when faced with stress are at greater risk of health problems,” she said. On the contrary, she also found that people who sleep more than usual are more likely to create more positive opportunities for themselves.

As we all know, stress and negative emotions are harmful to your health.But now more research is focused on how positive events can help protect your health. “A lot of work I’ve done before shows that those who have more positive events tend to have lower levels of inflammation.”Sim said. “They have these healthier diurnal cortisol patterns, so their stress hormones show healthier patterns.”

Jin Wen, PhD student

Given that we are currently in a period of greater stress and uncertainty, I believe that people may need to keep a good sleep at all times so as not to affect their daily emotional functions.

— Jin Wen, PhD student

In addition, Wen said, the most surprising finding in this study is that people with chronic diseases seem to benefit more from getting more sleep.“In particular, when they are well rested, when they encounter positive events, their positive emotions increase even more,” he said.

what can you do

Xin said that more research has found that sleep seems to be the “powerful driving force” for our behavior and our feelings the next day. “I think this really illustrates the importance of sleep in promoting happiness.”

Therefore, one of the most important takeaways from this research is the importance of getting enough sleep consistently—no matter what adequate sleep means to you, Wen said. Experts from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend that adults regularly sleep for an average of seven hours or more to avoid health problems.

Sleep time is not the only factor that affects sleep quality. Sleep researchers use the acronym “SATED” to describe the five aspects of good sleep,Text explanation:

  • Satisfaction: How satisfied are you with your sleep?
  • Alertness: How do you feel refreshed or alert during the day?
  • Timing: Is your bedtime and wake-up time the same?
  • Efficiency: How much time do you sleep in bed?
  • Duration: Are you getting enough sleep?

“Given that we are currently in a period of greater stress and uncertainty, I believe that people may need to keep a good sleep all the time so as not to affect their daily emotional functions,”Wen said. “I think people must not only recognize how sleep affects their daily emotional function, but also prioritize getting a good night’s sleep-this may mean committing to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, or setting a period of time before going to bed. ‘relax’ .'”

What this means to you

Yes, it is difficult to set a consistent bedtime, especially if you work late, are the parent or guardian of your child, or if you suffer from chronic insomnia or other sleep-affecting diseases.

But trying your best to get as much sleep as possible is good for mental and physical health.This research shows that more sleep can not only help you Feel Better, but it can also help you appreciate the little things.

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