Getting better sleep can benefit your health and happiness just as much as winning the lottery, according to a study done at the University of Warwick.
Yeah. It’s that rewarding. (Also: Free!)
But how did these scientists—who, we imagine, regard these kinds of experiments with sober objectivity and nothing like hyperbolic, headline-inducing excitement—carry out the research to arrive at this (admittedly blockbuster) conclusion?
In the study, which was published in the journal SLEEP, researchers at Australia’s University of Warwick decided to look at the link between sleep and mental health, as well as physical wellbeing, by analyzing the sleep patterns of more than 30,500 people over four years. The researchers then scored the subjects’ mental health levels according to the General Heath Questionnaire, a system used by mental health professionals to gauge psychological well-being.
The researchers’ findings: When it comes to feeling refreshed in the morning, quality of sleep is far more important than quantity. Specifically, the research subjects who experienced an increase in sleep quality showed levels of health comparable to someone who has won a £200,000 ($247,323) jackpot.
Sleep is definitely cheap and easy, so working on getting some more quality shuteye is something that anyone can do for a mental and physical health boost.
“It is refreshing to see the healing potential of sleep outside of clinical trial settings,” study author Nicole Tang, Ph.D., said in a press release. “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.”
So: How can you capture some of those glorious “winnings”? Here are 10 simple, straightforward ways to get better quality sleep, and 11 foods that could help you sleep better.