Researchers in the United States (U.S.) have found that sleep deprivation could be the reason for amplified anger and frustration. For the study, published in the journal ‘SLEEP,’ the research team analysed daily diary entries from 202 college students, who tracked their sleep, daily stressors, and anger over one month and found that a good night of sleep may be just what one needed to ward off feeling of anger and frustration.
Study author Zlatan Krizan, a Professor at the Iowa State University in the U.S., said, “The results are important because they provide strong causal evidence that sleep restriction increases anger and increases frustration over time.” While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep per night to function at their best, according to HelpGuide.org, a web source for the science of sleep.
Similarly, children and teens need even more. And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, most older people still need at least seven hours of sleep. The “National Herald,’ an online website reported that sleep-restricted individuals exhibited higher and increased anger in response to aversive noise, suggesting that losing sleep undermined emotional adaptation to frustrating circumstances.
According to the study, subjective sleepiness accounted for most of the experimental effect of sleep loss on anger. A related experiment in which individuals reported anger following an online competitive game found similar results.
“Together, these results provide compelling evidence that lost sleep amplifies anger in both the laboratory and everyday life,” the study authors wrote. Preliminary results show that individuals reported experiencing more anger on days following less sleep than usual for them. T
he research team also conducted a lab experiment involving 147 community residents. Participants were randomly assigned either to maintain their regular sleep schedule or to restrict their sleep at home by about five hours across two nights.
Following this manipulation, anger was assessed during exposure to irritating noise. The experiment found that well-slept individuals adapted to noise and reported less anger after two days.