Sleep deprivation causes loss of joy in life study finds


Sleep deprivation causes a variety of health problems, and it has been noted that people who sleep six hours straight have cognitive abilities as poor as those who stay up all night. New research shows that sleep deprivation impairs “the joy we feel in life.

New research finds people react better to both negative and positive events with more sleep


Nancy Sin, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and her research team studied the effects of sleep duration on reactions to everyday events among a total of 1982 adults aged 33 to 84.

After surveying the subjects about their basic sleep duration, the team conducted telephone interviews with them for eight consecutive days. During the interviews, they asked about “how much sleep they had the night before,” “positive or negative events they had experienced that day,” and “emotions they had received from the event.
Sin commented that “when people experience positive things, such as hugs or spending time in nature, they are generally happier that day.” However, Sin said that analysis of the interview results showed that when sleep is less than normal, the positive emotions received from positive events are reduced. In addition, the decrease in positive emotions due to negative events was greater with sleep deprivation, he said.

While sleep deprivation was found to decrease positive affect, longer sleep duration was shown to increase positive affect from positive events. The negative effects of stressful events were also reduced.
The team also found that the benefits of increased sleep time were particularly large in people with chronic health problems, “We found that in people with chronic health problems, longer than normal sleep time led to more positive reactions to positive events the next day,” said Sin. We found that in people with chronic health problems, longer than usual sleep duration is associated with more positive responses to positive events the next day.

Sin and colleagues note that the study had some limitations because it relied on patients’ self-reports via telephone interviews. However, as an initial study in routine rather than laboratory conditions, they believe their findings may be useful for future investigations.