Insufficient sleep may negatively affect emotional processing

In a recent Journal of Sleep Research study, participants perceived pleasant and neutral pictures in a more negative way when their sleep was restricted for several nights in a row.

In the study, participants were tested the morning after 5 nights of regular sleep and after 5 consecutive nights of sleep restriction (5 hours a night).

"Insufficient sleep may impose a negative emotional bias, leading to an increased tendency to evaluate emotional stimuli as negative," said lead author Daniela Tempesta, Ph.D., of the University of L'Aquila, in Italy.

She noted that the findings are especially pertinent because chronic sleep restriction is a common and underestimated health problem in the general population.

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

Daniela Tempesta, Ph.D., lead author, University of L'Aquila, in Italy

Journal reference:

Tempesta, D., et al. (2020) The impact of five nights of sleep restriction on emotional reactivity. Journal of Sleep Research.


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