Hit the Sack! People Who Get a Good Night's Sleep Are Happier

A young woman sleeping.
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Happiness and a good night's sleep seem to go hand in hand, a new poll suggests.

The survey of more than 7,000 U.S. adults revealed that people who reported getting more sleep also had a higher overall well-being than those who said they got less sleep.

For example, the average well-being score for people who reported getting 8 hours of sleep a night was 65.7 out of 100, compared with 64.2 for those who got 7 hours of sleep and 59.4 for those who got 6 hours of sleep.

Because the poll was conducted at one point in time, rather than over a long study period, it cannot say whether getting more sleep boosts well-being or if people who have higher well-being tend to get more sleep.

The researchers, from Gallup and Healthways, calculated the well-being scores based on participants' answers to questions about their sense of purpose, social relationships, financial lives, community involvement and physical health. [7 Tips to Sleep Soundly Tonight]

The survey also found that 42 percent of Americans get less than 7 hours of sleep a night, which is the minimum amount recommended by the National Sleep Foundation for people ages 18 and older.

A number of factors may affect how much sleep people get, including their work hours, family obligations, conditions such as insomnia, or poor physical health.

Because a person's well-being is also known to be connected to their level of engagement at work, employers may want to consider allowing employees to work more flexible hours to help them balance their sleep with their work and family obligations, a statement about the poll from Gallup said.

The poll was based on a survey conducted in 2014 between Sept. 5 and 19, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.

Follow Rachael Rettner @RachaelRettner. Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Rachael Rettner

Rachael is a Live Science contributor, and was a former channel editor and senior writer for Live Science between 2010 and 2022. She has a master's degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a B.S. in molecular biology and an M.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has appeared in Scienceline, The Washington Post and Scientific American.