A Tel Aviv University study has found WHY people feel anxious or grumpy when they don’t sleep.
The researchers used brain scanners on volunteers after they missed a night’s sleep - and found that the brain’s ability to regulate emotions seems to switch off.
In other words, lack of sleep leads people to lose their sense of proportion.
‘Prior to our study, it was not clear what was responsible for the emotional impairments triggered by sleep loss," said Prof.Talma Hendler.
‘’It turns out we lose our neutrality. The ability of the brain to tell what's important is compromised. It's as if suddenly everything is important,’ she said.
‘"We revealed a change in the emotional specificity of the amygdala, a region of the brain associated with detection and valuation of salient cues in our environment, in the course of a cognitive task.
‘These results reveal that, without sleep, the mere recognition of what is an emotional and what is a neutral event is disrupted.
‘We may experience similar emotional provocations from all incoming events, even neutral ones, and lose our ability to sort out more or less important information. This can lead to biased cognitive processing and poor judgment as well as anxiety.’