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Sleep Deprivation Leads To This Bad Behavior

Man who had little sleep

Poor shut-eye can turn people into jerks.

That’s not just you, or your friend/ spouse, who’s so irritable in the morning. That’s apparently everyone.

Three studies by the Journal of Applied Social Psychology says there is a link to poor sleep and people engaging in stereotyping, prejudice and other cranky behavior, along with several other side effects of sleep deprivation.

The reason we’re nasty without sleep?

Related Article: When You Don’t Sleep, You Can’t Resist Eating This!

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

“We suggest that sleep is a diminishable resource that fuels self-control and is, therefore, necessary for inhibiting prejudice,” reads the study.

The study goes on to explain that when sleep deprivation breaks our filter — the part of our brain that stops us from saying mean or rude things to people. Basically, our self-control is gone.

But it’s not just our filter. Poor sleep impairs our memory, learning and thought processes. Without sleep you are forced to “confront the daily demands of the day with constrained resources,” says New Delhi-based senior clinical psychologist Bhavna Barmi, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in the Indian Express.

Lack of sleep causes your brain to slow or even shut down.

Barmi says there’s increased activity in the part of your brain called amygdala — which regulates emotions such as anger and rage in the sleep-deprived. There are two types of distress due to sleep deprivation — cognitive and emotional.

“At a cognitive level, (sleep deprivation) can mess with your thought process where you are more likely to think of pros and cons of a situation without coming up with a solution. At an emotional level, one might experience anxiety, fear, panic attacks, bouts of depression, mood swings, loss of appetite, etc.,” adds Barmi.

Related Infographic: Why Your Brain Needs Sleep [Infographic]

That lack of self-control also goes into anything you may have a hard time resisting, like eating junk food. Other findings showed that sleep-deprived subjects failed to resist junk food after eating a meal that covers 90% of the daily caloric needs.

Recap

Several studies show that poor sleep messes with our brain and how we function both in mind and body. Sleep deprivation symptoms include the impairment of:

  • Self control
  • Appetite
  • Memory
  • Judgement
  • Mood
  • Creativity
  • And makes us jerks

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