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Study Finds Lack of Sleep Increases Feelings of Anger

Not getting enough sleep can have adverse effects including fatigue, mood changes, difficulty focusing, and negative impacts on physical health. According to a new study, loss of sleep may also increase feelings of anger.

The study was conducted in two parts. The first part included 202 participants who used a daily diary to track their sleep, daily stressors, and feelings of anger for one month. The second part included 147 participants. Half of them followed their regular sleep schedule and the other half restricted their sleep to approximately 5 hours across two nights. After the two nights, participants’ levels of anger were assessed during exposure to aversive noise.

Participants in the first part of the study reported experiencing more anger on the days after getting less sleep than usual. Participants in the second part of the study who restricted their sleep exhibited higher and increased anger responses to the aversive noise compared to participants who followed their regular sleep schedule.

The study was conducted by researchers from Iowa State University. It was published online ahead of print on May 27, 2020 in the journal Sleep.

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