How lack of sleep can affect your emotions, according to science

    Have you ever had a sleepless night and wound up feeling grumpy and stressed the day after? According to science, there is a reason why lack of sleep affects your daily routine.

    The lack of sleep is correlated with some negative effects, such as irritability, clumsiness, a weakened immune system and even chronic diseases, according to Science Alert. You may think that if you sleep less than seven to nine hours is enough for your body, but there are actually few people that manage to do that without suffering the consequences. Those might include a higher risk for several types of cancers, skin aging, loneliness, weight gain, disrupted short-term and long-term memory and many other.

    A recent study conducted by psychologist Nancy Sin and her colleagues from The University of British Columbia shows that sleep loss may amplify the negative emotions we feel on a day to day basis.

    “Even minor night-to-night fluctuations in sleep duration can have consequences in how people respond to events in their daily lives,” Sin stated according to Science Alert. “When people experience something positive, such as getting a hug or spending time in nature, they typically feel happier that day. But we found that when a person sleeps less than their usual amount, they don’t have as much of a boost in positive emotions from their positive events.”

    What you can do to combat lack of sleep?

    This study was conducted on a group of 2,000 adults, aged between 33 and 84. They were monitored over the span of eight consecutive days during which they were asked about the duration of their sleep, their daily stresses and the positive and negative events.

    The silver lining of the study is that the aforemetioned effects work both ways. For instance, if you sleep more, the positive events in your life seem even better. The effect is more pronounced on the people with chronic diseases, as Sin explains: “For those with chronic health conditions, we found that longer sleep – compared to one’s usual sleep duration – led to better responses to positive experiences on the following day”.

    Knowing this, if you thought that a less than seven hours sleep was something that you could get away with on a regular basis without any consequences, think again. Some useful tips for avoiding lack of sleep include avoiding bright lights and screens and reducing the intake of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and even food.

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