Less sleep reduces our capability to maintain positivity

Less sleep reduces our capability to maintain positivity
A report finds that getting enough sleep helps persons maintain emotional equilibrium and revel in the nice things in life.

Research shows that a range of health conditions are associated with a lack of sleep. A new study from researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, investigates the psychological - rather than physical - implications of missed sleep.

The scientists found that after an insufficient nights sleep, people have a reduced capacity for remaining positive when faced with emotionally challenging events. Also, they are less able to enjoy positive experiences.

The lead author of the analysis, health psychologist Nancy Sin of UBC, describes how this results in more stressful days for people who don't get enough sleep:

“When persons experience something positive, such as for example obtaining a hug or spending time in nature, they typically feel happier that day. But we found that whenever a person sleeps significantly less than their usual amount, they don’t have as a lot of a boost in positive thoughts from their positive events.”

Stress is connected with a range of harmful effects, compounding the damage done by sleep deficits.

The analysis appears in the journal Health Psychology.

Daily diaries tell a story
“The recommended guideline for an excellent night’s sleep is at least seven hours, yet one in three adults don’t meet this standard,” says Sin.

To explore the consequences of insufficient sleep, Sin and her colleagues analyzed a preexisting data set of 1,982 USA residents, 57% of whom were female. The participants gave their sociodemographic details and existing chronic conditions to the researchers at the start of the study.

The individuals kept daily diaries. For eight consecutive days, these were interviewed daily via calls, during which participants reported the quantity of hours that they had slept the prior night.

Each individual also described the events of their day. They recalled problems they had encountered: interpersonal tensions, arguments, feeling of discrimination, and stresses with their work associates and family. In addition they recalled the nice things that happened. In addition, participants reported their emotional responses from that day, both negative and positive.

The pattern that emerged was a lessened ability to remain or feel positive when participants had less sleep. When experiencing stress, they found it harder to keep emotional equilibrium. And when good stuff happened, feelings of joy or happiness were muted.

Such days could be a lot more than unpleasant - earlier research, including Sin’s own, has found links between an inability to retain feelings of positivity and inflammation, together with death.

“A big body of research implies that inadequate sleep increases the risk of mental disorders, chronic health conditions, and premature death. My study increases this evidence by showing that even minor night-to-night fluctuations in sleep duration can have consequences in how persons respond to events in their daily lives.”

- Nancy Sin, UBC

The researchers found no evidence that not getting enough sleep increased participants’ negative feelings the following day.

Getting better rest
Previous research has discovered that individuals with chronic health conditions, including diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, tend to be emotionally reactive when met with stressful events. Considering that getting more sleep may help to avoid this, Sin says she was interested to learn “whether adults with chronic health issues might gain a straight larger reap the benefits of sleep than healthy adults.”

The study’s finding suggests this may be the case, she says.

“For those with chronic health issues, we discovered that longer sleep - in comparison to one’s usual sleep duration - led to better responses to positive experiences on the next day.”

Sin hopes that studies such as hers will convince persons to prioritize getting enough sleep in an effort to stay healthy and have better days. 
Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com
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