A Good Night’s Sleep: The Key to a Happy Life
It’s not uncommon to feel unsatisfied, not good enough or unappreciated at work. Some of us are too ambitious for our own good so we struggle to feel like we’re achieving enough. Others might have a hard time managing workloads.
Does this sound familiar? If so, don’t worry, you’re only human.
But what can we do to help control these feelings? What can we do to make things easier for ourselves? It seems that as simple as having a good night’s sleep could be the answer.
Here’s how to get both good sleep and happiness.
Forget the TV and Smartphone for a Good Sleep
In order to get good sleep, the experts looked at how people prepare and wind down before bed. After all, there’s plenty that you can do to influence your sleep.
49% of respondents who said they watch Netflix or TV before hitting the hay were not getting the minimum recommended seven hours of sleep per night. Further to this, 22% say they get five hours or less – showing a clear link between screen time and poor sleep.
The same can be said for smartphone and tablet use. Those who wind down with a scroll through Instagram or a lively group chat have similar issues. 48% said they get less than seven hours, and almost a quarter (24%) said they get five hours or less.
Top Tip: Avoid the use of any electronic device with a backlit display. This emits blue light and can suppress the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. If you really want to use these devices, many phones have a setting that will allow you to turn down blue light.
Setting the Right Environment
So, you’ve wound yourself down for bed in the right way, what next? The research found that following certain sleeping habits could have a very positive effect on the quality of sleep that you get.
The data suggested that sleeping on the right-hand side of the bed could play a big part in improving your sleep. 36% of people who sleep on the right-hand side rated their sleep as eight or more out of ten. This was seven percentage points higher than the left-hand side.
But why is this?
Well, truth be told, the side of the bed might not be making the difference, it’s more likely the position that you’re sleeping in.
Top Tip: Sleeping on your non-dominant side in a fetal position means that your vital organs are protected and your dominant arm is free for protection. This lets your brain relax and helps you sleep better.
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to pillows. Some like one, some two, and others have a specific pillow that they must take everywhere. Time4Sleep’s study found that the choice of pillow could make a big difference – and less is more.
The research showed that only 41% of those using three pillows get at least seven hours sleep a night. 32% said that they get five hours or less. The statistics go on to show that the fewer pillows you use, the better the sleep you get.
49% of those who use two pillows get more than seven hours of sleep each night. 23% admitted to getting less than five. This pattern continues with those who use one pillow. 56% say that they get over seven hours sleep and only 15% get five hours or less.
Top Tip: A pillow is designed to offset any differences in your mattress, so if you find yourself needing more than one pillow, it might well be that your mattress is too firm.
How Does This Affect Us at Work?
Better Sleep = Better Mood
We all know what it’s like heading into work with that familiar feeling of dread hanging over us, getting frustrated in traffic, and generally feeling negative. Well, this type of morning behavior is more likely to come from those who haven’t had a good night’s sleep.
Only 3% of those who rated their sleep between one and three out of ten said that they felt positive when they woke up. This is compared to 49% of people who rated their sleep eight or above out of ten.
Looking further into this, a third of those who felt negative in the morning rated their sleep three or below. On top of that, only 13% of people who felt negative said their sleep could be rated at eight or above.
What does this mean?
Quite simply, the better the sleep you get, the more likely you are to wake up on the right side of the bed and feel positive in the morning.
They say that getting out of bed on the right side can affect your entire day and this reflects in the Time4Sleep research. 49% of those who rated their sleep between eight and ten also rated their motivation at work between eight and ten.
Further to this, of those respondents who rated their sleep between a one and three, only 3% said they were motivated above seven while at work. Showing that a poor night’s sleep can mean a poor day’s work.
Sleep deprivation has been associated with reduced blood flow in the area of the brain that deals with attention, alertness, and cognitive processes such as self-control, emotional responses, and decision making.
This means that for our brains to function properly, we need to be getting good sleep. If not, we run the risk of sleep deprivation. We’ll struggle to control our emotions and make good decisions.
The way that you feel day-to-day in the workplace is likely to have a big effect on your career. If you’re heading into the office each day feeling positive and motivated, chances are you’ll perform well.
The research backs this theory up, too. 40% of people who rated their sleep between eight and ten said that they are happy in their career. This can be compared to just 9% who rated their sleep between one and three.
As mentioned before, having the motivation and the right attitude can only bring positive results in the workplace. That is if you partner it with increased concentration, memory, and problem-solving abilities, all of which come from a good sleep.
You’re much more likely to feel happy and content in your career if you’re consistently sleeping well.
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Author: Mark Wiggins
Mark Wiggins is a writer based in Leeds, England. Having spent years working in people management, he now specialises in writing about a whole manner of subjects relating to the modern workplace and staff motivation.