Sleep Loss And Generosity Are Linked, Study Finds

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Psychology News

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, examined the link between sleep loss and generosity. The study is published in the journal PLOS Biology.

The Study

The researchers conducted three different studies to assess the impact of sleep deprivation on people’s willingness to help others. In the first study, the brains of 24 healthy volunteers were scanned after eight hours of sleep and after a night of no sleep.

In the second study, the quality of sleep and the desire to help others in more than 100 people were tracked online for several nights. In the third study, the research team surveyed a database of 3 million charitable donations in the US in the years 2001–16.

The Findings

The results revealed that sleeplessness can make people more selfish. Even a slight lack of sleep for a few hours can impair prosocial behavior and altruistic sentiments.

One of the lead researchers, Matthew Walker, elaborated: “Sleep, it turns out, is an incredible lubricant to prosocial, connected, empathic, kind and generous human behavior. In these divisive times, if there was ever a need for a strong, prosocial lubricant to enable the very best version of ourselves within society, now seems to be it.

To Know More You May Refer To

Ben Simon, E., Vallat, R., Rossi, A., & Walker, M. P. (2022). Sleep loss leads to the withdrawal of human helping across individuals, groups, and large-scale societies. PLoS biology20(8), e3001733.

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