Lack of sleep, might be the reason behind anger and aggression throughout the day, a recent study has found.
While distress frequently follows curtailed sleep, the fatigue that follows might in fact mute or neutralise the anger. So, even though links have been observed between sleep disruption and anger, no systematic study has been conducted to affirm them.
In the words of Zlatan Krizan, Professor of Psychology at Iowa State,Other studies have shown a link between sleep and anger, but questions remained about whether sleep loss was to blame or if anger was responsible for disrupted sleep.
To examine the contradictory possibilities, a Iowa State University research, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, found 142 community residents who were randomly assigned to either maintain or restrict their sleep over 2 days.
They were told to rate their anger before and after the process through a product-rating task while aversive noise played in the background. This noise factor was induced to make the condition uncomfortable in order to provoke anger.
The results of the study revealed that sleep restriction universally intensified anger.Zlatan KrizanIn general, anger was substantially higher for those who were sleep restricted.
We manipulated how annoying the noise was during the task and as expected, people reported more anger when the noise was more unpleasant. When sleep was restricted, people reported even more anger, regardless of the noise.
Krizan also added, “Despite typical tendencies to get somewhat used to irritating conditions an uncomfortable shirt or a barking dog – sleep-restricted individuals actually showed a trend toward increased anger and distress, essentially reversing their ability to adapt to frustrating conditions over time. No one has shown this before.”
The research also explained that the individual’s subjective sense of sleepiness may also influence his/her anger.>