People who have a reason to get out of bed in the morning sleep longer, a new study suggests.
Having purpose could help you hit the hay faster.
Researchers studied 823 participants aged 60 to 100, and people who felt their lives had meaning were 63% less likely to have sleep apnea and 52% less likely to have restless leg syndrome. They also had moderately better sleep quality.
Participants were asked questions about meaning in life by rating their response to statements like, “I feel good when I think of what I’ve done in the past and what I hope to do in the future.” They were also given a 32-question survey on sleep.
It’s hardly a yes or no question. Purpose, for this study, was defined as fulfillment you get from doing something you’d enjoy even if you weren’t getting paid to do it – so it could mean a job or happiness with family.
Taking some time out of your day to reflect on career accomplishments, personal achievements, social and family life could lead to self discovery. A strategy to uncover this is simply writing down things you absolutely love to do in life. The point of this is to get inspired and let your creativity flow, suggests career coach Marcel Schwantes, founder of Leadership From the Core.
Then jot down a few things you do with ease, like a skill you provide at work, or maybe it’s cooking or even helping your kid with a math problem. Ask others what they think you’re good at to get objective advice. Schwantes says finding the intersection of what you love and what you’re good at is a good place to start. Then you can eventually work your way to harder questions like: “What can I do more of?” and “What’s something I want to accomplish before I die?” Setting small goals can help you do more of what you love.
“Purpose in life is something that can be cultivated and enhanced through mindfulness therapies,” said senior author Jason Ong, an associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
“Helping people cultivate a purpose in life could be an effective drug-free strategy to improve sleep quality, particularly for a population that is facing more insomnia.”
Sleep deprivation isn’t only bad for your health, it could affect your wallet. People who increased their sleep by one hour a night saw their wages increase by 5% in the long –run, according to a 2016 study from the University of California at San Diego.
That’s because more sleep improves the quality of work you do during the day, and helps you make good professional and financial decisions and avoid bad risks.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved