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How Does Sleep Affect Behavior?

February 14, 2023

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How does sleep affect behavior

A new study in Biological Psychology strengthens the connection between poor sleep quality and behavioral problems. Here’s the science behind the relationship and what it means for you. 

Early Research

In sleep research, adult behavior has yet to be thoroughly studied. While this field lacks research, there is significant evidence of a relationship between sleep quality and behavioral problems. One of the most crucial gaps this causes is that we aren’t sure in what direction this relationship goes. Science has established a bidirectional relationship between sleep and mental disorders, and they have theorized behavioral problems are similar. This recently released study suggests a causal relationship between poor sleep and behavioral issues, though more studies will need to corroborate this finding.

Another gap in our understanding of sleep and behavior is what causes this relationship. Most commonly, scientists theorize the effect may be related to reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex and increased activity in the limbic regions. 

Connection Strongest in Children

The demographic with the most holistic research around sleep and behavioral problems is children. For many years, we’ve observed a causal relationship in children where poor sleep causes these problems. This research may help identify why adults may experience similar effects of poor sleep. 

Types of Behavioral Disorders

The most commonly observed behavioral problem observed in children and adults is aggression. Poor sleep can cause a hindrance in “our ability to regulate our thoughts and emotions and inflict consequences on our behavior” (Psypost.com). This is what is the likely cause of the behavioral issues at play. Poor sleep is also known to cause mental health issues, which may contribute to some people’s behavioral problems. 

What You Should Do

To establish a good sleep routine, you should ensure your space is comfortable, and your brain has plenty of time to wind down. We have a free 5-day plan to reset your sleep habits and help you find a routine. If you’ve tried our 5-day plan but still have issues, consider a sleep study. Visit: www.advancedhomecareonline.com/sleep-studies/ to get started. 

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