The 14 Most Interesting Sleep Studies of 2014

Getting a solid night’s sleep is, hands down, one of the best things you can ever do for yourself — it boosts your health and mood, fends off weight gain, fights aging, and improves your memory. And yet sleep is the first thing we sacrifice when work calls, when we order that third (okay, fourth) drink at last call, or try to accomplish “just one more thing” before heading to bed.To find out the many ways sleep affects your life — both in terms of getting enough slumber and a lack thereof — here’s a look at the most interesting and important sleep studies of 2014. We hope this will inspire you to make getting a good night’s sleep a priority in 2015.

  1. Boost to your metabolism by keeping your bedroom temperature at around 66 degrees every night.
  2. Having a consistent bedtime and wake time may lead to lower body fat.
  3. The #1 activity we give up sleep for? Work. How depressing is that?
  4. If you can’t stop dwelling on negative thoughts, get more sleep. Getting to bed late and not sleeping enough increases negative thinking.
  5. Alcohol actually sucks as a sleep aid because, as a diuretic, it increases your need to go to the bathroom and causes you to wake up earlier in the morning. Talk about a lose-lose.
  6. Your pet’s snoring, whimpering and wandering is messing with your rest.
  7. Sleeping less than an inch apart from your partner just might make you happier in your relationship.
  8.  Happy wife, in-sync life: Couples are more likely to fall asleep and wake up around the same time when the wife is happy in the marriage.
  9. Couples get into more frequent and serious fights when they don’t get a good night’s sleep. The solution? Some partners keep the peace by sleeping in separate rooms when one is sick or has to get up extra early.
  10. Newly single and dread sleeping alone? Take heart: You’ll get a better night’s sleep solo than if you shared you bed.
  11. If you’ve ever had an extremely hard time waking up, followed by utter confusion, you may have experienced a real and strange sleep disorder known as sleep drunkenness.
  12. Getting treated for obstructive sleep apnea not only helps you get a better night’s sleep but can also significantly improve your memory.
  13. There’s a reason you should “sleep on it”: Napping improves your problem-solving skills.
  14. Sleep deprivation damages cells, especially in the lungs, liver, and small intestine. The good news? Recovery sleep heals the damage.
Read More From Our 2014 Roundup: