Lack of sleep intensifies anger, impairs adaptation to frustrating circumstances
Losing just a couple hours of sleep at night makes you angrier, especially in frustrating situations, according to new Iowa State University research. While the results may seem intuitive, the study is one of the first to provide evidence that sleep loss causes anger.
Other studies have shown a link between sleep and anger, but questions remained about whether sleep loss was to blame or if anger was responsible for disrupted sleep, said Zlatan Krizan, professor of psychology at Iowa State. The research, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, answers those questions and provides new insight on our ability to adjust to irritating conditions when tired.
“Despite typical tendencies to get somewhat used to irritating conditions — an uncomfortable shirt or a barking dog — sleep-restricted individuals actually showed a trend toward increased anger and distress, essentially reversing their ability to adapt to frustrating conditions over time. No one has shown this before,” Krizan said.
Eight things you can do to improve sleep:
- Avoid alcohol, large meals, exercise and smoking at least two to three hours before bed.
- Turn off from work and technology at least an hour before bed.
- Go to bed as soon as you feel tired. If you wait too long, it will be harder to fall asleep.
- Avoid watching TV or reading an exciting page-turner in bed.
- Go to bed at around the same time each night. Ideally this should be before midnight.
- Sleep in a dark, well ventilated room.
- Deep sleep is the phase of sleep where you benefit most. It happens in the first third of your sleep. Avoid environments where you could be disturbed during this phase.
- Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night
Read the original article from the Iowa State University website here.