Lifestyle

Insufficient sleep can lead to negative emotional bias, says study

A recent study has suggested that restricting sleep can affect our emotional reaction.

Published in the Journal of Sleep Research, the study tested participants the morning after five nights of regular sleep and after five consecutive nights of sleep restriction — five hours a night. It was found that the participants perceived pleasant and neutral pictures in a relatively more negative way when their sleep was restricted for several hours in a row.

Insufficient sleep may impose a negative emotional bias, leading to an increased tendency to evaluate emotional stimuli as negative,” lead author Daniela Tempesta, PhD, Unversity of L’Aquila, Italy, was quoted as saying.

“Considering the pervasiveness of insufficient sleep in modern society, our results have potential implications for daily life, as well as in clinical settings,” the author added.

Some of the common causes of sleep deprivation are excess caffeine intake, eating late at night, work life imbalance, excess screen time or staying up too late, say experts. Giving up these habits are likely to improve your quality of sleep. Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

1. Invest some time in exercise during the day. Being physically active will help you sleep well at night. Exercise will reduce mental stress and help you unwind after work.

2. It is advised that you maintain a fixed sleep routine daily. Avoid staying up till too late at night.

3. A nutritional diet, rich in magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins, has a positive impact on your hormones. Melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone is released in the body when you have a good diet, thus helping you sleep.

4. Make sure you sleep on a clean and comfortable bed. Your room should be lit enough during the day and adequately dim at night to help you sleep.

5. Listening to some soothing music after going to bed can calm you and put you to sleep.