Impact on emotional outlook
The researchers found that participants rated pleasant and neutral images more negatively after having 5 nights of restricted sleep than when they had slept normally.
Even when the researchers took account of mood changes, they continued to find that people viewed images more negatively under restricted sleep conditions.
This suggests that sleep-deprived people are likely to perceive emotional stimuli — such as events or personal interactions in their daily life — as worse than they really are.
The researchers did not find any significant difference in how people rated the unpleasant pictures under different sleep conditions.