This is another one of those conclusions that seems obvious, but hadn’t necessarily been thoroughly analyzed until now. Not getting enough sleep can make you feel grumpy.
Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley and Harvard Medical School conducted a study of the effects of sleep-deprivation on the brain’s control over emotions. The researcher’s studied 26 adults aged 30 and under; the participants were divided into two groups, one group stayed awake for 35 hours, the other group was allowed to sleep normally. the participants were shown a series of images, some of which were disturbing, while researchers monitored their brain activity. The researchers found that the sleep-deprived participants became aversive and experienced a decrease in prefrontal lobe activity, the area of the brain that controls emotions.
One of the researchers, Matthew Walker, said, “Sleep appears to restore our emotional brain circuits, and in doing so prepares us for the next day’s challenges and social interactions. Most importantly, this study demonstrates the dangers of not sleeping enough.”
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