370 Sleep & Anger

Research by Krizan, Zlatan., & Hisler, Garrett. (2018).

Written by Shannon Cantalupo, B.S. 

Have you ever had a terrible night’s sleep, thus were irritable and quick to anger that day?! Researchers from Iowa State University studied whether sleep loss plays a role in one’s anger.

Each of 142 community participants completed a variety of baseline assessments to measure their anger, affect and perceived hostility. Participants were either put into the 2-day restricted sleep group or the control group. Those in the control group maintained their usual sleep schedule. Researchers instructed those in the restricted group to go to sleep two hours later and wake two hours earlier than their usual times. All Participants wore an Actiwatch tracking sleep for two nights. During the follow-up assessment, participants completed measures for anger, positive and negative affect, perceived hostility, caffeine intake, and sleepiness.

Results? Those in the sleep restriction group, even those with a moderate reduction of sleep, showed increased intense feelings of anger and higher negative affect— especially when they felt tired.

Make sure to get a good night’s rest! Not only will you feel refreshed, but you’re less likely to be irritated by the small stuff and get angry!


Krizan, Z., & Hisler, G. (2018). Sleep anger: Restricted sleep amplifies angry feeling. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 1 – 12.

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