A recent study out of the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that a lack of sleep doesn’t just put you at risk for impromptu naps. According to a Los Angeles Times article on this topic, researchers have found that sleep loss can actually lead to “skewed thinking and bad decisions.” The research suggests that tired individuals are more likely to focus on positive outcomes and may make riskier decisions based on this skewed perception. This may be due to increased levels of dopamine in the brain.
In the study, 29 young adults underwent two MRI scans – one after a night of sleep deprivation and one after a full night of sleep. After the respective scans the participants were asked to perform a task that measured risky decision making.
This new research highlights the risks associated with sleep deprivation for exhausted shift workers using heavy machinery, for all-night gamblers evaluating their odds, and even for exhausted students trying to study for exams.
If you think sleep deprivation is affecting your life we recommend you talk to you primary care physician.
(Source: Get your ZZZs. Clear your head.)