Good sleep, good life: uncovering the quality of life and sleep connection

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In our pursuit of happiness and a good quality of life, sleep often plays a crucial role. A study published on March 15, 2023, in PLOS ONE, an open-access journal, reveals some significant insights into this connection.

Researchers Michaela Kudrnáčová from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, and Aleš Kudrnáč from the Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences, conducted the study.

Several studies have linked good sleep quality to a better overall quality of life. However, less is known about how changes in sleep duration, quality, and timing can affect a person’s quality of life over the long term.

The Study: How Was It Conducted?

To explore this relationship, the researchers used data from the annual Czech Household Panel Survey conducted from 2018 to 2020.

Each year, different adults from the same household participated in the survey, and many were approached to participate again in later surveys. In 2018, 5,132 Czech adults took part, 2,046 in 2019, and 2,161 in 2020.

The team analyzed responses to questions related to life satisfaction, well-being, happiness, subjective health, and work stress.

They also examined responses on sleep duration, sleep quality, and sleep timing, or “social jetlag.” Social jetlag refers to the mismatch between socially determined sleep patterns and a person’s biological sleep rhythms.

The study is unique because it’s the first to examine the long-term impact of social jetlag on quality of life.

Findings: Quality Sleep for Quality Life

The study found that an individual’s reported sleep quality had a significant link with all five quality of life measures, except work stress.

This connection was present both over time for the same individual and when comparing different individuals.

The study also found that sleep duration was significantly linked with subjective health and happiness, and social jetlag was linked with life satisfaction and work stress when comparing different individuals.

However, no significant links were found for sleep duration or social jetlag over time for the same individual.

Limitations and Implications

The researchers note that the causes of social jetlag, such as a change in job hours, don’t frequently change, and the study’s three-year timeframe may not have been enough to capture any potential effects.

The study also coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, which could have affected the results.

Nonetheless, the study strongly suggests that sleep duration or timing may not be as crucial to quality of life as high-quality sleep. In short, better sleep can mean a better quality of life.

While when and how long we sleep is important, it’s the quality of sleep that appears to matter the most for a good life. If a person’s sleep improves over time, their quality of life also tends to improve.

If you care about sleep, please read studies about the science on 3 traditional bedtime remedies, and this sleep supplement may help prevent memory loss and cognitive decline.

For more information about sleep, please see recent studies about how to sleep to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and results showing scientists find silent sleep danger for smokers.

The study was published in PLOS ONE.

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