Losing Sleep Can Really Wreck Your Emotional Well-being

We become emotionally distracted when we don’t sleep, which can hinder our ability to read situations and people.


Nobody is in a good mood when they haven’t slept well. But beyond feeling crappy, there’s evidence that we also become emotionally distracted when we don’t sleep, which can hinder our ability to read situations and people.

The researchers in this study discovered that the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) that regulates our emotions misfires when transmitting information with the frontal lobe. These imprecise neurological communications then lead to non-discretionary interpretations of the world around us.

Lack of sleep not only impairs our judgement, but also lowers immunity, leads to depression, and can even raise blood glucose levels.

Sleep, while essential, is also a mystery. While we all do it, no one is sure why. In this month’s Scientific American, new research shows that lack of sleep not only impairs our judgement, but also lowers immunity, leads to depression, and can even raise blood glucose levels.

Perhaps these negative effects are why sleeping — something that should come naturally to us — is a multi-billion dollar industry. Less than 50 percent of Americans say they get adequate shut-eye for reasons as varied as stress to sleep apnea. To combat decreased productivity and the propensity for sickness, some companies have tried to encourage sleeping by introducing sleep pods in the workplace.

[S]leeping — something that should come naturally to us — is a multi-billion dollar industry.

If you don’t work at Google, a sleep pod from MetroNaps will cost you a cool $8,000 to $13,000. Or, you could turn off your phone, TV, and computer and get in bed early because every hour of sleep before midnight equals two after it.

Arianna Huffington says that if you want to protect your brain, you're going to need to sleep.

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Daphne Muller is a New York City-based writer who has written for Salon, Ms. Magazine, The Huffington Post, and reviewed books for ELLE and Publishers Weekly. Most recently, she completed a novel and screenplay. You can follow her on Instagram @daphonay and on Twitter @DaphneEMuller.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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