Haven’t you always wondered why we feel terrible when we are tired? Well, two research studies have explored this phenomenon in college students. When we are sleep-deprived, everything we encounter is seen through a negative lens, and the positive lens we see out of is fuzzy. Meaning, we are more attentive to the negative, for example a pile of dirty dishes, especially when we are tired, rather than focusing on the positive stimuli surrounding us.
In the study, two groups of college students completed a series of tests to assess their emotional responses to negative and positive pictures. These pictures were mostly screenshots from the nightly news. The students completed the tests at various time points throughout a night of simulated shift work. One group completed the tests at various time points after getting 5 hours of sleep and another group of students did the same after staying awake for more than 24 hours. As the night continued, the students’ emotional response to the photographs dulled and the positive stimuli started to have a lesser effect.
Overall, when we are tired we are unable to recognize emotions and our negative emotions are more readily recognized than positive ones. Along with this, studies have shown that there is a decreased subjective rating of happiness and sleep deprivation can impair our social interaction and learning because of perception fatigue.
It is extremely difficult to fit in the recommended hours of sleep, a good seven to eight ours of sleep per night. Because I find it almost impossible to allot this amount of time to sleep, of this, I always sleep at the same time every day to create a regular sleep cycle. Therefore, I find it easier to wake up, and I actually feel very well-rested. I hope we can figure out sleep schedules, or fit in more hours to be able to avoid the negative side effects of sleep deprivation.
Rodriguez, Tori. "Why Sleep Deprivation Makes You Crabby". Scientific American Mind 27.2 (2016): 11-11. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.
Yustina Kang (Group 2)