A lack of sleep could make you angrier, says study

Could your temper be down to restricted sleep?
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  • We all know a bad night of sleep can leave us feeling a little groggy.

    However, new research has found that a lack of sleep can not only leave you feeling tired the next day, but can make you angrier, too.  Even if you have the best pillow, bedding and a perfect wind down routine, sometimes falling asleep isn’t so easy.

    A study published in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine analysed the diary entries from 202 college students, who tracked their sleep, daily stressors and anger over one month.

    Initial results found that participants experienced more anger on days following less sleep than usual.

    MORE: Why the sleep we get before midnight is the most important

    Alongside these students, researchers monitored a group of 147 community residents. They were asked to either maintain their regular sleep schedule or restrict it by around five hours across two nights.

    Results showed that participants who slept well adapted to noise and reported less anger after two days. However, those who had experienced restricted sleep showed higher and increased anger in response to noise. This suggests the lack of sleep caused the emotional response.

    senior woman not getting any sleep

    An increase in frustration could be down to a bad night’s kip / Credit: Getty

    Zlatan Krizan, a professor of psychology at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, said, “The results are important because they provide strong causal evidence that sleep restriction increases anger and increases frustration over time. Moreover, the results from the daily diary study suggest such effects translate to everyday life, as young adults reported more anger in the afternoon on days they slept less.”

    Of course, there are plenty of little things which can help promote a more restful night’s kip. Some of these include investing in one the best pillows on the market and stocking up on essential oils (which promote relaxation and so help you drift off a little easier). There are also practical things which can be done before bed, such as having a bath and limiting screen time.

    For those who really struggle to drift off, there are a number of tried and tested tricks which experts recommend, including warming your body and using an eye mask to block out any light or distractions.

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