More sleep or a pay rise: Which would you prefer?

Modesto Morganelli
Settembre 19, 2017

Money really can't buy happiness, according to a new study which found that it's actually sleep and sex that keep us content.

The Living Well Index, created by leading researchers at Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social research, also found that sexual satisfaction, health of relatives and feeling connected to the local community all impact our overall wellbeing.

The research is based on a nationally representative study which looked at how Britons feel about their quality of life.

Researchers found income has surprisingly little impact on how people feel, with a 50 per cent rise in income contributing to just half a point increase in a typical Briton's overall score.

Those who are satisfied with their sex lives, have job security and a connection with their community are also more likely to rank at the top of the inaugural Living Well Index. Only 20% of the population scored the largest number of points on the scale, they scored between 72 and 92.

It was found that a hike in household income ranging from £12,500 to £50,000 increased just two points, whereas a sound sleep at night raised the happiness of the Brits by 15 points. For the typical Brit, 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.

Ian Mulheirn, director of consulting at Oxford Economics, said: "Wellbeing is rising up the agenda at a time of rapid change in how we live our lives". Among working people, 43 per cent of those with the highest Index scores also experience a very high degree of job security, nearly twice the national average. Sleep quality showed a 3.8 points difference between an average people's score and those who were in the top 20 percent.

Sainsbury's chief Mike Coupe said the index would 'help to inform how we run our business and will also help us uncover and engage more boldly on the issues that concern people most in their everyday lives'.

Typically, the study funded by Sainsbury's found that people speak to their neighbours once or twice a month. The same set of people will be questioned every six months which will allow researchers to trace the effects of a particular lifestyle on Britons.

"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".

As per the result of the survey, the happiest demographic group were young families.

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