Study shows this one lifestyle change can make you more generous
We all know how important sleep is to our health — but did you know that getting enough sleep actually helps you be a more virtuous person?
Researchers recently conducted three experiments to study whether the quality of our sleep affects how generous we are. And sure enough — it does.
The results are published in PLOS Biology. Researchers conducted three interesting experiments all showing that sleep affects how much we help other people. The Washington Post reports:
In the first experiment, researchers performed functional magnetic resonance imaging scans of the brain and asked questions to 24 adults after eight hours of sleep and after a night with no sleep. When they were well rested, the participants scored well on a helping behavior test. But after sleep deprivation, 78 percent had less of a desire to help others, even when it came to friends and family. The scans showed that areas of the brain associated with social cognition — our thought processes related to other people — were less active with sleep deprivation.
These results make sense. A lack of sleep drains our mental abilities and takes a toll on our physical health. We lack energy; we experience memory, focus, and mood issues, weakened immunity, higher risk for diabetes and high blood pressure, and more.
However, this recent study takes it another step further — when we don’t get sufficient rest, our ability to help others, to go the extra mile, is weakened. In other words, proper self-care actually helps us be more virtuous. Our mental and physical health is connected to our spiritual health.