I want to live a happy and prosperous life, we all do! But, what really is happiness and success? Is getting enough sleep related? Did you know that your happiness is independent of your immediate surroundings and is more genetic than anything else?
These are questions that I sought to answer in my quest to find out whether getting a good night’s sleep is related to happiness and success. On my journey to the proverbial tree of wisdom, I stumbled upon some interesting discoveries that I believe changed the way I perceive the world and I am sharing these with you hoping that it will modify the way you plan your life too.
What do you think about happiness and success?
You see, I am the kind of person with an ambition to achieve great things. I have always hoped to make or do something to change something for the better. It is a continual life goal of mine, but it is the way that I have been doing things that is all wrong.
I used to look at leaders in the field of electronics and think that those people spent every waking hour in pursuit of achievement and general success in life. I also had a firm conviction that success brings happiness; as you too might be thinking right now.
If you are anything like I was a few years ago, you are always pushing yourself to the limits with the promise that when you get that big promotion or breakthrough in your life’s work, you will own that exact property/home, car, etc. you want. The bottom line, you will be happy then.
What if you were wrong?
I don’t blame you. It’s how most of us are brought up. First, the bad news is that approach to life is all wrong based on the fact that life is not a race course and there is no finish line. The more you achieve, the more you will want to chase after. It is just how we are.
We naturally want to strive for something. Second, the eye-opening news is even though you have done this or are striving to, you are putting the cart before the horse. It is the other way around!
Happiness fuels success and not vice versa.
What is happiness and what is it not?
You might be surprised, like I was, to learn you are out there spending sleepless nights, long working days bleeding your knuckles, and keeping a caffeine high in the pursuit of happiness to find out that is not the way it works. It’s not easy to convince someone that they do not know what happiness is, but I will try anyway.
Let us start with the obvious. Happiness is not wealth. Most people agree. What you might not know is that happiness is not feeling good all the time, your mood, or some final destination that you will arrive at in your retirement either!
True happiness is the measure of how good you feel, on average, every day and how satisfied you are with the life you are living. I hope you realize that you have been chasing a mirage all this time and you now have that eureka moment that I had a while back.
The first step to happiness is your sleep health
This is the part where I am supposed to say, “Studies at the University of Xxx have shown that…” But do you need a scientific study to support the hard facts you already know by experience? It’s not an exact science but the better sleep you get, the more likely you are to have a better day the following day.
It’s hard not to see how this is all connected, but many of us choose not to sleep enough anyway. We are just too busy, right? Not to mention, being too busy can hinder how you fall asleep.
Well, think about this. We all know that sleep deprivation takes a swing at our moods and kicks us even when we are already down. Unfortunately, the harder your job and tighter your schedule the more likely you are to spend sleepless nights stressing about your career, finances, and relationships all of which will continue that downward spiral of making you feel terrible day in and day out.
As you struggle to stay afloat, remember that lack of sleep has been shown to contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and other terminal illnesses says the National Institutes of Health. An unhealthy person is also an unhappy one.
As earlier stated I discovered that happiness is genetically determined rather than by your environment. When you do not get enough sleep for just one night, your genes are altered which may include those that influence your immunity. What this implies is that you are more susceptible to catching a cold if you are not sleeping for long or long enough.
Sleep and Success
I also discovered that success is not meeting deadlines. It is all about achieving the goals you set out to profit from. It is, therefore, imperative that you are well rested and have a clear mind when carrying out tasks so that you do not make errors that lead you to waste more time which can lead to failure in the end.
If your work involves any amount of creativity, then caffeine is good, but a well-rested mind is even better. Take a look around, and you will see that the most successful people you know make it look easy to do what they do. Maybe that has to do with the fact that they do more but also rest more compared to the not so good ones who practice nonstop.
My conclusion: getting good sleep is a vital step to happiness and success in life.
After reviewing all my findings, I finally came to a simple conclusion. Optimal sleep leads to a happy me and a happy and satisfied me is refueled for the road to success. If I get enough sleep every night, I naturally feel better the next day. Common sense right? Well, why are there an estimated 50-70 million people who suffer from lack of sleep in the United States? It is simply not taken seriously enough by most.
I have also decided to not only increase my chances of feeling better and being happy by getting more sleep, but to choose happiness every morning when I wake. I suppose you have heard of the phrase “dancing in the rain”, meaning you are happy because you choose to be despite your circumstances.
Let’s get real for a minute. For example, there are just some days we do not want to get up and go to work. Well, you have to go, so you might as well choose to make the best of it and have a positive attitude to make the day the best it can be.
One more thing
Just in case, how much sleep is enough? Doctors recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep every 24 hours for adults. Eight hours is just fine under normal circumstances. If you are going through a rough patch, then you may need more, but the important fact is not enough sleep is harmful to your health and well-being.
Aaron Stevenson is a public educator, health freak, and blogs at snoozeez.com. He loves his sleep and talking about it, but don’t disturb this guy while he is doing it. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.