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The Scientific Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Negative Mood



The Scientific Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Negative Mood

Did you wake up on the incorrect side of the mattress? There has been all experienced it, and a recent study indicates that it might just be the result of not getting enough sleep.

Inadequate or insufficient sleep can negatively affect one’s ability to manage emotions, negatively affect moods, and increase the likelihood of experiencing anxiety symptoms.

“In our largely sleep-deprived society, quantifying the effects of sleep loss on emotion is critical for promoting psychological health,” and lead author of the study, explains in a statement.

“This study represents the most comprehensive synthesis of experimental sleep and emotion research to date, and provides strong evidence that periods of extended wakefulness, shortened sleep duration, and night time awakenings adversely influence human emotional functioning,” she adds.

Based on an analysis of data from 154 studies with 5,717 individuals, this research synthesized at least 50 years of research on the relationship between mood disorders and sleep deprivation.

Depending on the experiment, participants’ sleep was purposefully disturbed by researchers during one or more nights, they were kept awake for extended periods of time, they slept less than normal, or they were awakened up frequently during the night.

Every study examined at least one emotion-related metric, such as self-reported mood, participants’ responses to emotional cues, or signs of anxiety and depression.

The findings show that lack of sleep has a considerably different effect than simply making people tired. Additionally, it impairs emotional functioning, lowers happiness, and raises the possibility of anxiety and depressive symptoms.

More specifically, the researchers saw negative effects on participants’ feelings of joy, happiness, and contentment in all of the experiments they looked at, along with an increase in anxiety symptoms as evidenced by an increased heart rate.

“This occurred even after short periods of sleep loss, like staying up an hour or two later than usual or after losing just a few of hours of sleep. We also found that sleep loss increased anxiety symptoms and blunted arousal in response to emotional stimuli,” continued.

Despite certain limitations, such as a lack of diversity in the participants’ ages (average age of 23) and cultural backgrounds (only the USA and Europe), the study allows us to evaluate the effects of sleep deprivation on people’s mental health and the ensuing effects on their personal and professional lives.

According to research, up to 90% of teenagers and over 30% of adults don’t get enough sleep.

The implications of this research for individual and public health are considerable in a largely sleep-deprived society.

Industries and sectors prone to sleep loss, such as first responders, pilots and truck drivers, should develop and adopt policies that prioritise sleep to mitigate against the risks to daytime function and well-being,”


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