Loss Of Sleep Alters Perception, The Study Reveals

Have you ever been deprived of sleep at night and felt irritable and angry throughout the next day? One thing is for sure, you are not the only one. When the body is bereft of rest the brain rebels in more ways than one. There have been comparisons between sleep deprivation and drunkenness even as both the situation can cause an alteration in space and time perception. A recent study has revealed though that loss of sleep can affect emotional perceptions as well.

The emotional discrepancy that is caused by sleep deprivation is mainly of a negative kind and it has an effect on how things are perceived. Sandra Tamm, doctoral student from the Department of Clinical Neuroscience in Sweden did her thesis on exactly how lack of sleep causes an alteration in the emotional perception. For conducting the experiment, she conducted five studies. The first study was about the relation of sleep deprivation with the ability to respond to the emotional status of someone else.

The second study was aimed at finding a relationship between lack of sleep and the ability to emphasize. Sleep restriction and regulation of one’s emotion was the third study. The fourth was a study between the brain connection and sleep deprivation. The fifth and the last study aimed to identify the kind of impact seasonal allergies had on the brain tissues for understanding the mechanism. A total of 117 people participated in the study and traditional MRI and PET SCAN was performed to find out about the activity of the brain and the different mechanisms with respect to lack of sleep, emotional stimulation, and allergy. The result of all the five studies was pretty consistent.

People who were subjected to sleep deprivation had a negative interpretation of any emotional stimuli. This situation is more commonly called negativity bias. These people also had difficulties in controlling their own responses and were in a perpetual bad mood. The main reason behind this has been attributed to the problematic relay of information and the processing capacity of the brain. Thus, a direct relationship between the aforementioned has been confirmed.

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