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Getting limited sleep could make consumers more irritable, study finds

Quality nights of sleep have the ability to boost consumers’ moods

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Photo (c) skynesher - Getty Images
A new study conducted by researchers from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine is exploring how lack of sleep can affect consumers’ moods. While recent studies have highlighted the benefits associated with getting enough sleep, experts have now found that consumers are likely to be grumpy following a night of poor sleep. 

“...These results provide compelling evidence that lost sleep amplifies anger in both the laboratory and everyday life, while also pointing to short-term and mid-term mediators of these influences,” the researchers wrote. “The findings also point to the value of examining specific emotional reactions (and their regulation) in the context of sleep disruption, alongside affect more broadly.” 

How sleep affects mood

The researchers conducted a two-part study to determine how a lack of sleep can affect consumers’ mood. The first part of the study involved responses from over 200 college students who kept a record of their sleeping habits and their moods over the course of one month. 

The second part included nearly 150 participants. Half of the group was required to sleep just five hours across two nights while the other half of the group slept normally. After the two nights, participants were exposed to loud noises and then reported on their anger and overall mood. 

By the end of the study, it was clear to the researchers that a lack of sleep negatively affected the participants’ mood. Both the college students and the time-restricted sleep study participants were angrier after not getting enough sleep, which wasn’t the case when participants had restful, longer nights of sleep

The researchers hope that these findings can be valuable to consumers who are trying to regulate their moods.

“The results are important because they provide strong causal evidence that sleep restriction increases anger and increases frustration over time,” said researcher Zlatan Krizan. “Moreover, the results from the daily diary study suggest such effects translate to everyday life, as young adults reported more anger in the afternoon on days they slept less.” 

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