It has been confirmed that if you can’t sleep, you can’t control your emotions well. However, the ability to evaluate the emotional situation around them was not negative.
Researchers at Washington State University in the US found that negative emotions from lack of sleep did not affect the way people processed emotional stimuli around them, contrary to the belief that they would negatively affect people’s experiences with emotional images or events around them.
The 60 adult participants in the study spent four days at the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine Sleep and Performance Research Center. All participants slept normally on the first night. The researchers conducted a series of tests to determine the participants’ mood and their ability to regulate and process emotions.
The researchers then divided the participants into two groups. The first group of 40 people did not sleep on the second night, and the second control group of 20 people slept normally. The researchers then ran the test again at intervals of time.
As a result, in the emotional processing test, which consists of evaluating the emotions conveyed by words or images, participants in both groups showed similar results regardless of sleep deprivation. On the other hand, the emotion control test found that sleep-deprived group participants had more difficulty controlling their emotions.
The difference between processing the emotional content around you and being able to control your own emotional reactions is particularly important in some tasks. Study co-author Paul Whitney, professor of psychology at WSU, said: “The inability to control one’s emotions while responding normally to emotional situations may be one reason why sleep deprivation in stressful situations is sometimes fatal.
The findings have implications for health care workers, law enforcement officers, and people who work long hours, who need to be able to control their emotions in stressful and emotionally demanding situations.
That’s because lack of sleep doesn’t make them numb in emotional situations, but it has the potential to make it difficult to control their emotional reactions.
The results of this study were published in the international scientific journal PLOS ONE.
Reporter Jeong Hee-eun [email protected]
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