So, it turns out sex and sleep really are the secrets to a happier life

So, while we humans might like to think we're a sophisticated bunch with an extensive list of wants and desires, new research has shown that we're actually quite the opposite.

Sure, shiny new cars and expensive designer handbags might give us that temporary boost of happiness, however, when we look at the bigger picture, it's plenty of shut eye and an active sex life that brings us the most joy.

Developed by Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research, the new happiness index has found sex and sleep have the biggest influence on a person's happiness and well-being.

For the study, 8,250 people were asked how satisfied they were with various aspects of their lives. Participants were then given a Living Well score based on their answers, averaging at around 62.2.

Interestingly, those who reported getting more sleep scored 15 points higher than those who struggled, while those with an active and fulfilling sex life scored seven points higher than those without.

What's more, researchers discovered that an increase in household income lifted scores by just two points.

Other factors which were deemed more important than money included living in a strong community, job security, and the health od close relatives.

So, it turns out our mothers were right all along – money really can't buy happiness.