Science Just Declared This Is The Secret To A Good Night’s Sleep
You’ll either believe it or not. You still might want to try it.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Sleep is maddening.
Sometimes, you can do it without trying. And sometimes, it taunts you like a naked protester at a religious rally.
You try and count sheep and the result is baa-humbug. You try to empty your mind, but that's as easy as emptying the storage locker you don't want your lover to know about.
You try drugs, but then you have that strange hungover feeling in the morning.
These days, modern-day types even try apps. I won't make the obvious sleep app-nea joke here.
Now, however, science has come forward with a new solution for getting a good night's sleep.
Large-brained types at Northwestern University performed a little research and concluded that the one fine way to guarantee yourself a good night's sleep is to have a purpose in life.
How, though, did they measure it? Well, participants were asked to rate their response to such statements as, "I feel good when I think of what I've done in the past and what I hope to do in the future."
I'm not sure how good I felt when I read that. I worry that people can be awfully self-delusional.
Still, the researchers insist that the results are meaningful.
"This is the first study to show having a purpose in life specifically results in fewer sleep disturbances and improved sleep quality and over a long period of time," they said.
"That's all very well," I hear you grunt. How, though, does one cultivate a purpose in life just like that?
Where does one find a purpose when one looks around and sees a world built on false promises and fake news? What purpose should you choose when ill-luck follows you like around like a rabid dog looking for a home.
This is where you'll hear a modern -- and perhaps disappointing -- refrain.
"Purpose in life is something that can be cultivated and enhanced through mindfulness therapies," said Jason Ong, an associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and one of the researchers on this project.
Oh, that mindfulness thing. It's very trendy. And some research has shown that it's more powerful than anti-depressants.
There's also the slight suspicion that it's the latest marketing fad. Getting your head straight can take many forms, say critics.
Moreover, get mindful is all all very well for an associate professor to say. What about when you're a little older than your average associate professor?
Oddly, the participants in this research were aged between 60 and 100.
Older people appear to have a greater level of sleep problems than do younger sorts. Could this be because too many feel they have no real reason to get up in the morning?
Personally, if I know I have to get up in the morning to, say, catch a flight that's precisely when I sleep badly.
Some people, though, simply don't sleep well. How much, for them, is it because they don't have a purpose in life?
And how much is it because the subconscious and all its insidious habits infiltrate their minds and mix their inner chemicals in different ways from those of others?
Still, why not try the mindful thing? You can always tease people that you're sleeping well these days and have a (secret) purpose in life.
It'll instantly make you more interesting.