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Feel more joyful and less stressed by getting a good night's sleep

Cover Media logo Cover Media 16/09/2020
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Want to feel more joyful, and reduce your stress levels? Then get a good night's sleep, experts have suggested.

A team of researchers from the University of British Columbia discovered that people who don't get sufficient rest at night are prone to react more emotionally to stress, and find little joy in positive events.

The recommended guideline for a good night's sleep is at least seven hours, and inadequate rest increases the risk of developing mental health issues and chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Lead author health psychologist Nancy Sin analysed data from a sample of almost 2,000 people in the U.S., in which participants reported on their experiences of positive and negative situations, and the amount of sleep they had the previous night, in daily telephone interviews over the course of eight days.

When people slept less than usual, they responded to stressful events, such as arguments, social tensions, work and family stress, with more negative emotion compared to those who had a better night's sleep.

Sin also found that even when people experience something positive, such as being hugged by a loved one, or spending time outdoors, they were unable to find the joy in that moment due to lack of sleep.

And those who suffered from chronic health conditions were able to react more positively the following day if they'd had a much longer sleep than usual.

"For those with chronic health conditions, we found that longer sleep – compared to one's usual sleep duration – led to better responses to positive experiences on the following day," she explained.

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