We’ve heard “money can’t buy happiness” our entire lives, but social scientists take nothing for granted. As a result, we’ve seen an ongoing argument over whether money does, in fact, buy happiness and if so, just what the price of happiness is. A new study, however, claims that it’s less material things that are capable of making us truly happy.
The Living Well Index is, admittedly, a little suspicious, considering it was paid for by a grocery store, complete with their share price tucked in the upper right-hand corner and a minimum wage scandal in its recent history. Still, they did bother to interview 8,250 people about a range of questions that focused on their lives and their emotional fulfillment, and they did come up with some interesting results.
Namely, it turns out that what makes people the most happy is being in bed. Whether they’re sleeping:
Sleep was the strongest indicator of a broader sense of wellbeing, controlling for other factors. The majority of those with the highest Living Well scores reported feeling well rested most of the time (60 per cent), whilst over half of those in the bottom 20 per cent of the Index said that they rarely, or never, felt well rested.
Or having sex:
Across the population as a whole, just over a third (35 per cent) said they were fairly or very satisfied with their sex lives. Once again, these individuals were disproportionately likely to be found at the top of the Living Well Index – with almost two thirds (63 per cent) of those at the top saying that they were satisfied with their sex life, twice the national average.
It’s hard to deny that a good night’s sleep is a wonderful thing. Still, they’re also undeniably glossing over a few things. Researchers have found that the poorer you are, the worse your sleep will be. And your socioeconomic status can, of course, have a direct impact on your sexual expression, and vice versa.
When you think about it, it’s not hard to see the correlation. It can be difficult to date, or even get to sleep, when you can’t afford to eat out and you’re wondering if you’re going to be able to make your rent. Maybe money can’t literally buy happiness, but it’s foolish to pretend that money isn’t needed to enhance our capacity to meet basic, joy-giving needs like sleeping well and having sex so that we can be happy. Glossing over that doesn’t do those of us struggling any favors.
(via The Daily Mail)