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Improved sleep comparable to the well-being felt after a lottery win, study claims

Improving sleep can lead to levels of mental and physical well-being comparable to completion of a course of mindfulness therapy or a lottery jackpot win, according to research.

Improving sleep can lead to levels of mental and physical well-being comparable to completion of a course of mindfulness therapy or a lottery jackpot win, according to research.


Positive sleep changes are linked to improved scores on the
General Health Questionnaire. Picture: Getty

A study from University of Warwick researchers analysed the sleep patterns of more than 30,500 people over 16 in UK households over four years.

Researchers assessed data from participants in the UK Household Longitudinal Survey between 2009-2011 and 2012-2014.

Improved scores

Predicting variables were changes in sleep quantity, sleep quality, and sleep medication use over the four-year period.

Authors of the study, published in the journal Sleep, show that positive sleep changes are linked to improved scores on the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), used by mental health professionals to monitor psychological well-being in patients.

The results were comparable to those recorded from patients completing an eight-week programme of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or the average improvement in well-being shown by UK lottery winners two years after a medium-sized lottery win.


Tang N et al (2017) Changes in sleep duration, quality, and medication use are prospectively associated with health and wellbeing: analysis of the UK households study. SLEEP. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsw079

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