Researchers found that a continued lack of sleep for 5 consecutive nights predisposes people to see pleasant and neutral images adversely, indicating that poor sleep may generate a negative emotional bias.
The feeling of having a sleepless night is a familiar one to many people. Lack of sleep can affect a person’s performance at work, as well as their emotional state.
People are more likely to be irritable and frustrated when they have not slept properly the night before.
The influence of limited sleep on emotional well-being is of growing interest as a lack of sleep is widespread in modern society. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that about 35% of adults Trusted Source in the United States sleep less than 7 hours per night.
Although several reports suggest that lack of sleep influences our emotional state, a new study published in the Journal of Sleep Research Trusted Source has formalized this.
In the study, participants looked at “pleasant and neutral images” after 5 nights of normal sleep and 5 nights of restricted sleep. The results showed that the participants were more likely to have negative responses to these images after the periods of disturbed sleep than after normal sleep.
The authors conclude that lack of sleep imposes a negative emotional bias on people and has important implications for daily life, as well as in clinic settings.