Studies show that sleep-deprived people report an increase in negative moods (anger, frustration, irritability, sadness) and a decrease in positive moods. In addition, insomnia is often a symptom of mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Sleep deprivation and insomnia have been found to affect emotional reactivity and social function. Although the effects of lack of sleep have been described at various levels of functioning, such as cognitive, psychomotor or sensorimotor, the emotional effects may be more evident in the functioning of daily life.
Without sufficient healthy sleep, negative emotional reactivity seems to increase significantly and positive reactions to positive events are usually moderate. A recent study on lack of sleep found that the response time of positive stimuli was faster than that of negative and neutral stimuli, while the accuracy in recognizing the valency of the stimuli decreased after lack of sleep. Many of us know that we feel better after “a good night's sleep” and more moody or foggy if we don't sleep. And now there's strong evidence to similarly support that sleep is critical not only to our physical health but also to our mental health.
Sleeping poorly or not getting enough sleep has been found to increase negative emotional responses to stressors and decrease positive emotions. These findings were also confirmed by Zohar and his collaborators, who investigated the relationship between lack of sleep and emotional reactivity in resident doctors who were monitored for 5 to 7 days every 6 months over a period of two years. Insomnia disorder, according to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-), is characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early, causing problems during the day. In short, there is increasing evidence confirming that it is crucial for processing painful feelings to move from the cognitive and analytical level to the level of immediate experience, including emotional feelings.
Until now, it has been discovered that the effectiveness of emotion-focused coping strategies depends on the particular operationalization of the emotion-focused strategy employed. In addition to strengthening memories of fear, sleep also adaptively facilitates the subsequent extinction of conditional fear, since it inhibits the limbic system with the PFC in the most popular cities. Another large study found that nutrient deficits, such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, were linked to sleep problems. While there are individual differences in how much sleep each adult needs, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis to promote optimal health and function, and most adults need between 7 and 9 hours.
It's worth mentioning that there is a lack of evidence on the effects of intense positive emotions, such as love, joy, and happiness, on objective sleep quality, which also requires the attention of future research. However, we do know some very interesting facts about how lack of sleep affects the complex emotional centers of the brain, making us more likely to overreact or to lash out with anger and frustration.