Missing just one hour of sleep, as well as lack of sleep, can cause not only a bad mood, but also less willingness to help others. As shown by the recent findings of experts from the University of California, Berkeley, a bad night can be behind selfish behavior and less empathy.

The research findings, which were recently published in the journal PLOS Biology, are based on three different studies from recent years.

The first study examined the brains of a total of 24 research participants, after a good night’s sleep and on days when they slept poorly. A questionnaire survey and an MRI showed that the sleep-deprived participants were less willing to help others.

This theory was then confirmed by a second study that monitored one hundred participants for four nights. Individuals were asked to answer a series of questions about their sleep patterns, including how many hours they slept and how often they woke up during the night.

A good mood affects empathy and willingness to help

The latest study focused on the change in time and its effect on people’s philanthropy between 2001 and 2016. It showed that even an hour of lack of sleep worsened the mood of study participants. Thus, the researchers came to the conclusion that a good mood has an effect on empathy and willingness to help others.

“The change in DST resulted in a significant decrease in tender interest compared to the weeks before and after the change,” HuffPost quoted the results as saying.

Up to a third of the population has trouble sleeping, and according to a 2020 survey, up to 70 percent of people in the Czech Republic sometimes feel tired after waking up.

“Long-term lack or poor quality of sleep can impair cognitive functions, such as memory, learning, attention, problem-solving ability, planning, etc. Certain stages of sleep are also important to our emotional experience, so issues with regulation of emotions can emerge during Lack of sleep, moodiness or irritability. Some studies even show that sleep deprivation can increase the tendency to unethical behavior, such as lying or cheating,” Carolina Janko of the National Institute of Mental Health previously told Aktuálně.cz.

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