More sleep and more sex leads to a happier life

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

The two bedroom activities have been found to have a greater impact on a person’s wellbeing than money, with strong relationships with family and friends, job security and the good health of loved ones also ranking highly.

A team from Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research were commissioned by British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s to create a new Living Well Index. Researchers asked a nationally representative panel of 8,250 people questions covering 60 different aspects of their behaviour, how they live and how they feel.

Results showed the average Brit has a Living Well score of 62.2 out of 100 and those who scored between 72 and 92 out of 100 were deemed to be living best. Looking at what most impacted how happy people were, income was shown to have a surprisingly little effect; a 50 per cent rise in disposable income contributes to just a 0.5 point increase in their Living Well score.

However a good night’s rest proved to be crucial.

“Sleep was the strongest indicator of a broader sense of wellbeing,” the experts noted. “The majority of those with the highest Living Well scores reported feeling well rested most of the time, while more than half of those in the bottom 20 per cent of the Index said that they rarely, or never, felt well rested.”

And for the typical British adult, improving their sleep to the level of someone at the top of the Index would be equivalent to them having over four times as much disposable income.

Sex life satisfaction also ranked highly, followed by job security, health of close relatives and community connectedness.

“Wellbeing is rising up the agenda at a time of rapid change in how we live our lives, and we’ve created a critical new tool that can help us to unpick what’s driving our sense of living well, drawing on a unique, rolling survey of unprecedented breadth and granularity,” Ian Mulheirn, Director of Consulting at Oxford Economics, said.

“The analysis within the Sainsbury’s Living Well Index reveals that, in a world that’s never been more connected, the richness of our relationships and support networks remains among the biggest determinants of how well we live – and represents an area of our lives in which we can act.”

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