SEP 21, 2020 8:30 AM PDT

Insufficient Sleep Makes It Harder to Enjoy Life, Study Says

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

A growing body of research stresses the importance of getting a good night's sleep- whether it's to bolster your immune system or regulate your mood. Now, researchers from the University of British Columbia have found that insufficient sleep can impact your ability to experience positive events. 

For the study, they analyzed survey data from close to 2,000 adults aged between 33 and 84. After looking at their baseline conditions, information on each person's sleep duration, daily stresses, and experience of positive and negative events were recorded for eight consecutive days. 

All in all, the researchers found that when people slept less than their usual amount, they tended not to receive as much of an emotional boost from positive experiences like getting a hug or spending time in nature, as when they had gotten a full night's sleep. 

The team also found that longer sleep makes positive events seem better and protects against negative feelings from daily stress. The positive effects of longer sleep were particularly notable among those with chronic health issues like chronic pain. In fact, the researchers found that sleeping longer than the usual duration tended to lead to more positive experiences the following day for those with chronic health conditions. 

The researchers also noted, however, that they found no link between sleep duration and negative reactions, and that their research only indicates a link between sleep duration and positivity. They also found that response to daily events did not have a bearing on sleep quality. 

While interesting findings, the researchers nevertheless caution that their study had several limitations. These included relying on patients' ability to recall their daily events and sleep cycles- something which is open to a lot of subjectivity. Regardless, they say that their data could be useful for future investigations delving into the long-term outcomes of sleep patterns. 

 

Sources: Science AlertHealth Psychology 

About the Author
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
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