Getting the right amount of sleep is one of the keys to well-being and happiness. Sleep deprivation leads to secretion of cortisol (the stress hormone) to your system. Your organism also produces more ghrelin which makes you feel hungry. Hence lack of sleep leads to higher obesity levels but also causes irritability and depression.
Not getting enough sleep also impairs your level of attention, concentration, memory, and leads to all kinds of health problems. Moreover, it kills your sex drive (sorry).
Getting enough of high quality sleep, on the other hand, makes you feel wonderful, cheerful, energized and optimistic. That’s well described in books like The Promise of Sleep, and can easily change your life.
“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.” ― Werner Herzog
So how do you use sleep to increase your level of happiness?
1. The amount and regularity of sleep
For adults it is recommended to get seven to eight hours each night. It’s best to go to sleep and get up more or less at the same time (my system is 10:30 to 6:30). Ideally, try to avoid alcohol and caffeine before going to sleep. It decreases the quality of your slumber and makes it harder to go into the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase, which is crucial for regeneration.
2. Don’t irritate your stomach before sleep
Don’t eat too much before sleep. Your organism will have to deal with digestion, instead of giving you the best possible rest period. Your bed should be a place mostly used for sleep (slight variations from the rule are permissible). Try not to eat, watch TV or browse the web when you’re in bed.
3. Keeping the sleep environment cozy for a boost in well-being
It’s also nice if your bedroom is totally dark, quiet, and with access to fresh oxygen. Plants in your room give off carbon dioxide during the night so you may move them to another room or open the goddamn window.
You can also use the Phillips Wake Up lamp to wake up more gently instead of getting cranky from the early morning.
4. Use a sleep mask and earplugs for an undisturbed sleep experience
Getting a decent sleep mask, and earplugs are one of my best methods to get high-quality sleep and increase your level of energy. If you’re a light sleeper, it’s great to block any noise from disturbing you during the night. Also, if your partner likes to have some light on at night, you can use a sleep mask for a cozy sleep.
Additional happy sleep tips:
- Don’t forget to drink a glass of warm milk with coca and honey, do evening yoga and take a hot shower two hours before bedtime. It will help you to fall asleep more smoothly.
- Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine 5 – 6 hours before going to sleep (exceptions allowed from time to time).
- Don’t have any electric light bleeping into your eye during sleep – it will keep part of your waking consciousness at bay.
How do you enjoy this article about the relation between sleep and happiness? Do you have some of your own tips you can share? Sweet dreams!