Bad sleep increases emotional stress

SUFFERING from poor sleep can increase an individual’s emotional stress levels by up to a third, a new study has claimed.

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley recently conducted an investigation to explore how bad sleep can impact a person’s mental wellbeing.

Almost 330 people aged between 18 and 50 were assessed for the study, which was published in the scientific journal Nature Human Behaviour.

The researchers found that after the restless night’s sleep, the medial prefrontal cortex in the brains of the respondents, which helps to alleviate anxiety, was not functioning as normal.

In addition, an online study that measured the sleep and anxiety levels of 280 young and middle-aged people was carried out over a four-day period. The team discovered that the amount and quality of the participants’ sleep allowed them to predict what their stress levels would be the following day.

Overall, the study concluded that bad sleep can increase a person’s emotional stress levels by up to 30 per cent.

Professor Matthew Walker, a senior author of the study, said the researchers were able to identify said: “Without sleep, it is almost as if the brain is too heavy on the emotional accelerator pedal, without enough brake.”

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