A GOOD sleep is akin to winning the lottery – so says a psychologist at the University of Warwick.
Study carried out by Dr Nicole Tang shows improving sleep can have the same impact on mental and physical health as somebody who has won a jackpot of around £200,000.
The study of more than 30,000 people over four years showed positive changes in sleep over time – improved quality and quantity, and using less sleep medication – were linked with improved scores on the General Health Questionnaire used by mental health professionals to monitor psychological wellbeing in patients.
Conversely, it was found reduced, bad quality and medicated sleep, could lead to a deterioration in medical and emotional states.
Dr Tang said: “We are far from demonstrating a causal relationship, but the current findings suggest that a positive change in sleep is linked to better physical and mental wellbeing further down the line.
“It is refreshing to see the healing potential of sleep outside of clinical trial settings, as this goes to show that the benefits of better sleep are accessible to everyone and not reserved for those with extremely bad sleep requiring intensive treatments.
“An important next step is to look at the differences between those who demonstrate a positive and negative change in sleep over time, and identify what lifestyle factors and day-to-day activities are conducive to promoting sleep. Further research in this area can inform the design of public health initiatives.”