Does having a “sense of purpose” help you sleep?


A sense of purpose can help you sleep better.

As anyone who read this blog knows, I am an advocate of developing a compelling social purpose and aligning everything in your work and life with achieving that purpose. Recently, I wrote a blog about how purpose-driven approaches to learning in general and the Cerebyte methodology contribute to brain health. Now there’s another study that shows that purpose-driven living reduces sleep apnea and “restless leg syndrome.”

A recent article in Time Magazine entitled “A sense of purpose can help you sleep,” cites a study in Sleep Science and Practice “Is purpose in life associated with less sleep disturbance in older adults?” which concludes that having a clear purpose in life is associated with less sleep disturbance.

Previous studies have shown that purpose in life can be protective against numerous negative health outcomes including sleep disturbances so it appears that the evidence continues to come in that support this conclusion. The article in Sleep Science and Practice (yes there is such a publication – it makes me sleepy thinking about it) is very academic, loaded with citations, and virtually unreadable by most of us, but it is a very thorough study of the connection between purpose and sleep disorders.

The study of 825 people with a sleep disorder shows a significant correlation between having a sense of purpose and good sleep, with the caveat that their definition of purpose and meaning is a little more generic than our Cerebyte team’s definition of purpose as creating a greater social good. However, the bottom line finding of the new study is: people with more purpose sleep better.

There appears to be a growing connection between purpose, sleep and effectiveness in the work place. This ties in to another previous blog on the connection between sleep and cognitive processing that I wrote where I discussed how there is data that sleep is a significant contributor to processing of complex information.

By focusing on building a compelling purpose, as we do in all Cerebyte programs, we are, according to this research, improving the quality of people’s sleep. By improving the quality of people’s sleep, you also improve the quality of the mental and emotional processes as well as participant’s general health.

We are starting to see evidence that much of Cerebyte’s methodology is contributing to broader health, which is great news. When have you heard of a “learning program” having such broad health benefits?  Plus, approximately 90+% of participants in our programs demonstrate the productivity and impact of the star performers. You can have both a significant improvement in both performance and health through the same program.

Wouldn’t you like to have both a more effective and healthy organization? That sounds like a great combination to me!

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