Why a lack of sleep can make you angry

why a lack of sleep can make you angry

When you lack quality sleep, you won’t only develop bags under your eyes, but may also develop anger problems.


Latest research from Iowa State University shows that people who lose a few hours of sleep at night get angrier and adapt to frustrating situations less than those who get adequate rest. The results are the first among studies linking sleep loss to an increase in anger.


There have been previous studies suggesting a possible link between sleep and anger, but it was not clear if sleep loss increased anger or vice versa.


“Sleep-restricted individuals showed a trend toward increased distress and anger, essentially reversing their ability to adapt to frustrating condition over time,” said Zlatan Krizan, Ph.D., study author and professor of psychology at Iowa State University. “No one has shown this before.”


The result of the study on lack of sleep and anger

The researcher grouped 142 participants into two.


Group one maintained their normal sleep routine while the second group reduced their sleep by 2 to 4 hours each night for two consecutive nights.


The group that maintained their normal sleep routine averaged about 7 hours of sleep, while the second group had only 4 and a half hours of sleep per night.


It may seem that the difference is steep, but Krizan says it was designed to replicate the sleep loss several Americans experience daily.


After the 2 nights of the sleep study, participants were taken to the laboratory where an Iowa State doctoral student and study co-author, Garrett Hisler had them perform product reviews while listening to one or two types of noise.


The first, brown noise, is akin to water showering sound or sound of spraying. While not relaxing, it is less abrasive than the other noise option.


The second, white noise, was more grating. Its sound resembled static.


Those noises were intended to make the participants uncomfortable and see if they would produce an anger response when they were in the laboratory.


As the researcher’s expectation, people with restricted sleep reported more anger, regardless of the type of noise.


“In general, people who were sleep restricted reported substantially higher anger,” said Krizan.


During the review in the lab, the researchers manipulated the noise to make it more annoying. And when the noise was at its most unpleasant, anger feelings were at their highest.


How are anger and sleep related?

Lack of quality sleep and sleep loss have long been connected to different physical, mental and emotional issues. To cut the long story short, sleep loss can increase negative emotions such as sadness, relentlessness, and anxiety.


It can decrease positive emotions, reducing the feeling of joy, enthusiasm or happiness. Studies revealed that sleep loss makes you find it difficult to turn down junk food. Lack of quality sleep can also impair how well your body responds to insulin, which can cause obesity.


Over time, the stress caused by lack of sleep affects your mood, which means, long-term depression can become a problem. High stress causes the release of cortisol, which takes a toll on your body via high blood pressure and a decline in cognitive.


New research buttresses the point that poor quality of sleep and lack of sleep is a major health concern for Americans.


According to Dr. Alex Dimitriu, “Lack of sleep can result in a wide variety of symptoms, which are fortunately reversed once quality sleep is restored.


Sleep plays a vital role in our brain’s health. So when we lose sleep regularly, it affects the brain and causes it not to cope well.


Sleep is the only way for the body to rest, but even vital for the brain to declutter. When we sleep, the brains process the events of the day and store into long-term storage, refresh and make room for possible new learning the following day.


When you fail to sleep, you deprive your brain the necessary tasks its supposed to carry out.


How to reverse anger

First thing first; you need to know that lack of sleep may be one of the reasons you are always angry and try to correct it by getting quality sleep.


When you recognize the cause of your frustration leading to anger, you can stop it and refocus. Even after recognizing and correcting the number of hours you sleep, you may still have a few anger issues. That will be easier to correct because it is not because of continuous frustration. You can learn how to control your anger.


If you have been sleep-deprived, avoid confrontations. Be sure to get a good night sleep before an important event or emotional event. You can turn to your trusted cup of coffee for caffeine to improve your attitude and alertness during the day.


Strategic use of caffeine may help you fight sleepiness and improve your ability to maintain a calmer demeanor. But you should sparingly use caffeine and don’t use it later in the day so it doesn’t interfere with your night sleep.


Avoid using gadgets on your bed and try to keep regular sleep and wake hours. You need to also avoid alcohol or other drugs before you sleep. Get eight hours of sleep each night is not an outdated mantra. Try maintaining 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night. If you deprive yourself some hours sleep one night, try to cover for it.


Bottom line

Losing just 2 hours of sleep can cause you o be angrier. In fact, it may cause you to be less capable of responding to frustrating or irritating situations. If you want to prevent being angrier and frustrated, getting more sleep is the solution.


However, you can’t blame all your emotional problems on lack of sleep, but sometimes it helps you understand your anger issue is because you are staying late to watch your Netflix series and not because you are an always angry person.

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